Thursday, September 28, 2006

Iran and Turkey Prepare for War in Iraqi Kurdistan?

/ extreme screw-up? /
This is rather worrying news and, if true, its about to explode the whole Iraq disaster into unimaginable proportions:
"A new Middle East war is in the offing. DEBKAfile’s exclusive military sources in Iraq and sources in Iran reveal that Turkish and Iranian air units as well as armored, paratroop, special operations and artillery forces are poised for an imminent coordinated invasion of the northern Iraqi autonomous province of Kurdistan.

Our sources pinpoint the target of the combined Iranian-Turkish offensive as the Quandil Mountains (see picture), where some 5,000 Kurdish rebels from Turkey and Iran, members of the PKK and PJAK respectively, are holed up. Iranian and Turkish assault troops are already deployed 7-8 km deep inside Iraqi territory."


kkk said...

Interesting story, talos, a true potential nightmare.
However I have been informed that the agency is an unreliable Israeli organisation, with a very definite propaganda slant.

DEBKAfile Ltd.
53/3 Bar Kokhva St.

A browse on the rest of their site would confirm this.

Just as well - man, I'd hate for that to be true.


kkk said...

Hm, I see the Grauniad is carrying something similar, too, now.
(Not that I'd say it's that much more "reliable", the way things have been going lately, but perhaps a smidgeon.,,1852843,00.html

Will just have to watch this space.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet ten euros that nothing like this happens in... oh, say the next 90 days.

The Iranians would have utterly nothing to gain by this -- their Kurdish problems are minor, and they have no shortage of proxies in Iraq. I could see Iranian special forces crossing the border, but large-scale troop movements? Fantasy.

The Turks... well, that's at least plausible. But I don't see either the current civilian leadership or the military caring to roll the dice this way.

N.B., any such conflict would take place within easy driving distance from me, since I live in Armenia, which borders both Turkey and Iran. So if I really thought there were something to this story, I'd be worried.

Finally, note that the Guardian's Middle East coverage, outside of Iraq and Israel, is pretty consistently crap. In fact, outside of Iraq and Israel, the Guardian is crap on anything between Vienna and, I don't know, Pakistan.

Anyway. Ten euros. Any takers?

Doug M.

talos said...

At the risk of sounding "too informed" (which I'm not) I would like to mention that the story of Iranian and Turkish troops being already inside Iran (as well as rumours of "joint actions") apparently (as some people with personal connections to Iran have told me) was already circulating in Iran well before DEBKA picked it up. Stratfor claims as much stating that:

With sizable Kurdish populations, Iran and Turkey have been watching these developments closely, and are becoming increasingly alarmed at the rate at which the Iraqi Kurds are asserting their autonomy without restraint. As a result, Tehran and Ankara have coordinated military operations against Kurds on Iraqi soil, with the deepest Iranian incursion taking place Sept. 5 when Iran fired artillery against Kurdish positions near the Iraqi town of Mandali, 60 miles northeast of Baghdad. Talabani made it clear during his Washington visit that his patience for such actions is wearing thin, and that Iraq will respond by supporting "opposition forces" within its neighbors' borders, a warning that appears to have been actualized by the late-night pipeline explosion.

Whether this means that such an attack is imminent is another thing and I'm not at all certain that Turkey, despite it's recent threats, is prepared for this sort of manifestly anti-US action anytime soon. However as much as I wouldn't place any bets on this happenning within the next 90 days - I wouldn't place any bets on this not happenning within the next 90 days - or 180 days - either.

Anonymous said...

If I remember rightly, DEBKAFILE was used a lot by Stratfor and Agonist in the early days of the war.

They are running a strong ideological line, but are supposed to have strong connections with Israeli intelligence, and reflect its thinking.