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Iraq Claims Turkey is Bombing Northern Villages

A week and half ago we reported that Turkey had staged 140,000 troops on its border with Iraq, and that fighting appeared imminent. Today there are reports that Turkey has begun bombing Iraqi villages just across the border.

The Iraqi government said Wednesday that Turkish artillery and warplanes bombarded areas of northern Iraq and called on Turkey to stop military operations and resort to dialogue.

The claim occurred amid rising tension and Turkish threats to strike bases of the Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK, which has been launching attacks against targets in Turkey from sanctuaries in Iraq.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told The Associated Press that the bombardment struck areas of the northern province of Dahuk, some 430 kilometers (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad.

Col. Hussein Kamal said about 250 shells were fired into Iraq from Turkey. He added that there were no casualties on the Iraqi side of the border.

"We have received reports that the Turkish government and the Turkish army have bombed border villages. The Iraqi government regrets the Turkish military operations of artillery and warplanes bombing against border cities and towns," al-Dabbagh said.

"The Iraqi government calls for ceasing these operations and resorting to dialogue," he said, insisting that Iraq wants "good relations with Turkey."


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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