Turkish PM: Turkey has right to attack Kurdish rebels in N Iraq

By Xinhua

Bucharest : Turkey has the right to intervene in northern Iraq against the Kurdish rebels and, should the situation call for it, the Turkish security forces will not hesitate to take these measures, the visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said here on Thursday.

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After his meeting with his Romanian counterpart Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, Erdogan stressed it is his country’s right to fight against terrorism.

He is referring to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who have recently launched cross-border attacks against Turkish troops from northern Iraq and caused casualties.

“Our security institutions are determined to take this step themoment the situation calls for it. It is a right we have resulting, in fact, from the international law.” Erdogan said.

“We believe the Iraqi authorities will no longer play host to this organization which has taken shelter in northern Iraq.”

He also answered U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who had said there is no need for Turkey to launch an incursion in Iraq.

“Of course she might wish that Turkey do not organize cross-border armed operations, but the decision on the need for such an incursion rests with us,” Erdogan said.

“Now we are forced to take this step and it is in the interest of domestic and international peace,” the Turkish prime minister added.

He further said that it is the duty of all the world’s states to fight together against international terrorism.

Erdogan is on an official visit to Bucharest between Oct. 24 and 26.