RealNews

Kurdish rebels in clash with border forces

US troops and officers of the new Iraqi border police force clashed with Turkish Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq at the weekend in an incident that left one policeman dead and wounded several others. Details of the engagement remained unclear but a spokesman for the US military in Irbil said guerrillas of the Kurdistan Workers party (PKK) holed up in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan had attacked a unit of the Iraqi border police near the town of Zakho. The spokesman said the ensuing firefight had involved a US military convoy which was in the area on an inspection tour. Some reports said US helicopters had been called in as back-up. It is not known how many PKK fighters were killed or injured. The clash is likely to ratchet up tension on Iraq’s northern frontier and follows Ankara’s decision last week not to accede to a controversial US request to send peacekeeping troops to Iraq. Iraqi Kurds – US allies during the war to remove Saddam Hussein – are deeply suspicious of Turkish intentions in northern Iraq, which Ankara considers to be within its sphere of influence. Full Story

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