US Presidential Election can Put End to KWP

US Presidential Election can Put End to KWP

Azerbaijan, Baku, 17 October/ Trend , corr B. Hasanov, E. Tariverdiyeva/ After US presidential election, Washington can create favorable conditions for Turkey to put an end to the activities of Kurdistan Worker Party (KWP) terrorist organization in the north of Iraq.

" Ankara might be tempted to use the political changeover in the US as an opportunity to carry out major incursions into Northern Iraq in order to try to curtail the activities of the PKK once and for all," James Ker-Lindsay, expert at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences said to Trend .

Kurdish regional government in Iraq fears that if Democrats win presidential election, Turkey will put more pressure regarding the issue of KWP, Milliyyet newspaper of Turkey reported on 15 October.

Saddam Hussein regime was putting a strong pressure on separatist tendencies of Kurds in Iraq. The chemical attack by Iraqi military aircraft on 16 March 1988 on Khalabcha, Kurdish province in the north of the country, killed over 5,000 civilians. KWP has been committing acts of terrorism against military and civilians in the territory of Turkey since 1980. During Saddam Hussein regime, Turkey carried out offensive against KWP terrorists without facing serious political obstacles. However, Turkey faced with great problems after Iraq's occupation by US in 2003.

Kurds helped US to a great degree in overthrowing Saddam Hussein regime and gained an opportunity to strengthen politically after Iraq was occupied. In addition to the establishment of regional government in north of Iraq under Masoud Barzani's leadership, Kurds took high rank posts in the Iraqi government. Election of Kurd Jalal Talabani to the post of president was one of the great accomplishments of Kurds. Therefore, Turkey, who carried out military attacks against KWP, faced serious political obstacles both in Iraq and US. The determination Turkey demonstrated in a fight against KWP, helped gain US support to some extent. However, Turkey faces US setbacks in intervening of Turkish land forces to the north of Iraq. At the same time, Kurdish government has repeatedly stated that it opposes Turkey's military intervention to Iraq. However, recently, Kurdish leaders have been making statements condemning KWP.

Statements by the Kurdish leaders condemning KWP will become more frequent in Washington as well after US presidential election, Ahmad Tagi, director of Iraq-based Karkuk Strategic Studies Center said.

"The political differences between Kurdish Administration and radical Kurdish nationalists aggravate every day. Therefore, I think, the policy of Washington will undergo changes after presidential election which will reduce KWP role and opportunities," Tagi said to Trend .

US will support Kurdish regional government to fight against KWP. Support for Kurdish government in fighting KWP, will ensure support even for Turkey.

After US presidential election, Turkey will be rendered more help in a fight against KWP, Soner Chagaptai, Turkish expert on foreign policy said. Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama will employ different methods in this issue, he added.

"McCain will continue to support Turkey in a fight against KWP. But Obama, maintaining current cooperation, will seek to use political methods more efficiently to address this issue," expert said to Trend . US presidential election is not expected to have a big impact on Turkey-Kurdish Administration relations. Though US plays important role in these relations, regional aspects are decisive aspects.

"Kurdish regional government knows it must be seen as opposing PKK terrorism against Turkey. Neither Turkey nor the KRG want to escalate their disagreement on the PKK issue to the breaking point because this would create new unnecessary problem for both of them," Michael Gunter, expert and Professor of Political Science of Tennessee Technological University said.

Washington has supported Turkey in a fight against KWP several times. US intelligence played a decisive role in arrest of Abdullah Ocalan in 1999. The political tension between Turkey and US appeared after Turkish parliament refused US to use its territory in intervening in Iraq in 2003. However, new stage of Turkey-US joint fight against KWP began in early 2007. US promised to provide Turkey with intelligence date about KWP. At the same time, Turkey was provided with necessary conditions for air attacks on KWP in north of Iraq.

However, US support for Ankara in a fight against KLP, was not enough to destroy terrorist organization.

Killing of 17 Turkish soldiers by KWP in the Aktutun check point on Turkey's border with Iraq, made complete destruction of this terrorist organization to stand on the agenda again.

The acts of terrorism by KWP claimed lives of 30,000 Turkish citizens so far, Turkish media reported.

U. Sadigova and V. Zhavoronkova also contributed to this article.

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