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Iraqi officials give tacit green light to raids

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency (DHA) | 8/24/2011 12:00:00 AM |

Iraq opposes a ground assault by Turkey into its northern territory but is also uncomfortable with the presence of outlawed groups in the area, an Iraqi official said, calling for consultation before any military move.

Iraq opposes a ground assault by Turkey into its northern territory but is also uncomfortable with the presence of outlawed groups in the area, an Iraqi official said, calling for consultation before any military move.

“Crossing the border is a serious subject in terms of Iraq’s sovereignty. It discomforts us just as well that there are outlawed groups in these areas. However, let our neighbor not enter without knocking on our door [first],” Humam Hamoudi, president of the Iraqi Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee, said while speaking to press members in Baghdad.

Iraq lacks an adequate number of security forces to take over camps controlled by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, in northern Iraq, Hamoudi said, adding that the tripartite mechanism between Turkey, Iraq and the United States had to be more effectively utilized.

In his comments, Hamoudi also quoted Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to indicate that a Kurdish state in northern Iraq is an unrealistic proposition.

Responding to a journalist’s question, Hamoudi said Talabani had told him that if such a state were to be established in northern Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran, as well as Iraq itself, would all react. Such a state would be born dead and could survive no more than six months, Hamoudi said the president had told him, according to the Doðan news agency, or DHA.

“It is wrong for those who come here from overseas to say there should be a regime change in Syria,” Hamoudi added, calling for Syria’s neighbors to help the country and noting that Syria topped the list of countries that stood up to Israel. Hamoudi also urged the administration in Damascus to immediately enact reforms and refrain from using force against its own people.

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