Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Regional War?

Turkey Warns Kurds About Kirkuk Control:

Another imminently foreseeable problem with Iraq again rears its head:

Turkey's military warned Wednesday that the migration of large numbers of Kurds into the oil rich Iraqi city of Kirkuk could sway the results of the upcoming elections and possibly lead to clashes that could draw Ankara into the dispute.


Turkey has repeatedly warned that Kurdish control of the city would make an independent Kurdish state more viable, a development that Ankara has repeatedly said it won't accept. Turkey fears that a strong Kurdish entity in northern Iraq could inspire Kurds in Turkey, where Kurdish rebels have battled the Turkish army since 1984.

"Hundreds of thousands of Kurds migrated to Kirkuk and registered to vote," Gen. Ilker Basbug, deputy head of the Turkish military, said at a news conference. "This could make the results of the elections questionable."

"Even worse," he added, "these developments could threaten the territorial and political unity of Iraq. We're worried that such a development would pose an important security problem for Turkey."

I actually doubt that such a regional war will break out. But consider how poorly everything else about the Iraq adventure has gone. Does anyone truly trust the Bush administration, or Condi Rice, to be able to handle all the situations that stand to make the prolbems in Iraq a) worse and b) spread to neighboring countries?

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