Buyukanit: Political goals to be achieved through cross border operation in Iraq must be determined
The New Anatolian / Ankara
01 June 2007
Political goals to be achieved through of a military operation have to be determined before any planning can be made on a cross border operation into northern Iraq to wipe out PKK terrorists, General Yasar Buyukanit said on Thursday. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Istanbul on "New Dimensions of Security & International Organizations" Buyukanit said in a recent press conference on April 12 he had stated that there is a need for a cross-border operation into north of Iraq. Asked about the probability of a cross-border military operation into north of Iraq, Gen. Buyukanit said, "every military operation has a political goal. Political targets are achieved through military means." When asked if he would lay a written request on the matter, Gen. Buyukanit said, "I will not present a written request. On April 12, I mentioned what is needed."
Responding to another question, Gen. Buyukanit said there was not only PKK presence in north of Iraq but also Massoud Barzani is a problem. "We have told this both to the Turkish people and the world on April 12. The military forces are ready. The political authorities will assess the targets. Shall we deal with only PKK or shall we do something about Barzani? What will be the target? This can not be done verbally. We have to receive written directives," Buyukanit said.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with NTV television Wednesday that a decision on a military operation in northern Iraq could be made only after a written request from the General Staff has been received by the government. "The political branch of power makes the final decision on a military operation [in northern Iraq], and we will consider it when we receive a relevant request from the military," Erdogan said.
The general also denied any military build up in southeastern Turkey in the border areas neighboring Iraq. He said these reports are creating false expectations in the public and are harmful.
He said the troop movements in the region are a part of the anti-terrorism campaign waged against the PKK inside Turkey.
Buyukanit also opposed the American move to handover the security responsibilities of northern Iraq to the Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil.
He said "this is a wrong move."The general said if there are no Shiite security forces for the Shiite regions in Iraq and no Sunni security forces for the Sunni regions then why is there such Kurdish security personnel in the Kurdish areas. "Such special status for the Kurds is note worthy and we feel is inappropriate."