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Kurds' vow to fight Turkish invaders poses new problem for Bush coalition

The American plan to form a northern front against Saddam Hussein slipped deeper into crisis yesterday when Kurdish leaders made clear they would resist any attempt by Turkey to occupy Iraqi Kurdistan, even if it was a member of the American-led coalition. The Kurds have already declared they would fight if Turkey unilaterally occupied a swath of territory in northern Iraq with the intention of limiting Kurdish influence in Iraq after the overthrow of President Saddam. Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurdish leader, said yesterday that even if Turkey joined the coalition in the war against Baghdad the Kurds would have to be assured that this was not a smokescreen for the occupation of Iraqi Kurdistan. Mr Zebari, picking his words carefully, said: “Unless the end-game is clear we will resist.” The Kurds fear America might fix up a deal whereby Turkey nominally joined the coalition against President Saddam, but in practice would seek to extinguish the de facto independence enjoyed by the Iraqi Kurds for the past decade. Full Story

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