Iraqi Kurdish Opposition Group Denies Reported US Military Mission In Northern Iraq
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) denied Tuesday a media report that US military personnel recently carried out a reconnaissance mission in the northern part of Iraq ahead of a possible strike.
"It's a pure lie," a PUK official told AFP News Agency in Damascus, commenting on the report published the same day by the London-based Arabic Al-Hayat daily.
The PUK, an Iraqi Kurdish opposition group led by Jalal Talabani, "does not favor foreign plots to topple the regime" of Iraq's President Saddam Hussein, he said when asked of US threats of military action against Baghdad.
"We seek a democratic change in Iraq; we do not want that a dictator (Saddam) be replaced by another one," he added.
Quoting Iraqi opposition sources in Damascus, Al-Hayat daily said more than 40 US military officers and experts recently spent about 10 days inspecting military positions in the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq, including two airports, "in the framework of the preparations for military operations".
The Kurdish areas of northern Iraq have been under the control of the PUK and another Iraqi Kurdish opposition movement, the Democratic Party of Kurdistan (DPK) of Masud Barzani, since 1991. (Albawaba.com)
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