Turkey launches ground operation into Iraq
Turkish forces launched a ground incursion across the border into Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish militants, the military said Friday. It is the first confirmed ground operation by the Turkish military into Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
The ground operation was launched after Turkish warplanes and artillery bombed Kurdish targets on Thursday, the military said on its Web site. The incursion was backed by the Air Force, the statement said, according to the AP.
PKK spokesman Ahmad Danas said two Turkish soldiers died and eight were injured in clashes along the border. "The Turkish Armed Forces, which values Iraq's territorial integrity and its stability, will return as soon as planned goals are achieved," the military said. "The executed operation will prevent the region from being a permanent and safe base for the terrorists and will contribute to Iraq's stability and internal peace."
Private NTV television said 10,000 troops were taking part in the offensive and had penetrated six miles into Iraq.