Theater of Cruelty

Threats with invasion

Turkey demands Kurds delivered from Iraq. That puts a serious squeeze on the United States.


[Kurds] Turkey has warned of possible military operations inside Iraq. The threat has led to an agreement by the United States, Iraq and the NATO country that members of the Kurdish Labor Party PKK who reside in northern Iraq should be apprehended and sent to Turkey.

The United States is closely allied with the authorities of the two Kurdish provinces in Iraq, which are not interested in extraditing their Kurdish brothers. This puts the Americans in a serious squeeze between two important allies in the region.

"So far we have not been happy with the US handling of the situation," a spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry told Ny Tid.

Turkey believes the US is not doing enough to chase the PKK out of Iraq.

"We will take the necessary action," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier this month when asked about a possible military operation in northern Iraq.

The statement came after the PKK, according to Turkish authorities, has attacked Turkish soldiers from bases inside Iraq. The US ambassador to Turkey stated on Turkish television that unilateral military action across the border with Iraq will be unwise.

This prompted Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to call the United States double-moral because the Americans allow Israel to attack terrorists in Lebanon but will not allow Turkey to do the same in Iraq. US President George W. Bush even called Erdogan to calm the situation.

- The Americans say that they will not allow the PKK to operate in Iraq and will use all means to stop them, the spokesman Ny Tid has spoken with.

The PKK is on the US list of terrorist organizations and is fighting for an independent Kurdish state.

- What has now been agreed between Bush and Erdogan can hardly be carried out without an attack on military forces, says RV politician Erling Folkvord, who has written a book about the Kurds.

He believes that the United States has a significant problem because it cannot force the PKK out of Iraq without making itself unpopular in the Kurdish part of the country. A Turkish invasion probably won't make the situation any better.

- If Turkey moves into northern Iraq, we will turn our country roads into the Turkish army cemetery, said the current president of Iraqi Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, in 2002.

Monitoring Krekar review

[Middle East] Norwegian embassies in the Middle East have been asked to monitor the local press to look for cases concerning mullah Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad Krekar, following instructions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on 23 June. Krekar's lawyer Brynjar Meling thinks the Foreign Ministry is looking for statements from Krekar that can be used against him.

- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wants to position itself in advance of Krekar's case before it comes up in the Court of Appeal in October, he says to Ny Tid.

Meling is not surprised that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wants surveillance.

- They have run a witch trial against Krekar all the time, the lawyer says.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that the instruction was sent after the Norwegian media wrote about Krekar's initiative in the Middle East. Among other things, Krekar had spoken positively to the late Iraqi rebel leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to a Kurdish newspaper.

Mullah Krekar will not comment


By Mikal Hem

FOLLOWED: Mullah Krekar, according to his own statement, wore a turban to like the caricatures in Jyllandsposten. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will now hear what is being written about him in the Middle East. Photo: Heiko Junge, SCANPIX

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