Rice says U.S., Iraq, Turkey will cooperate
( Deseretnews ) - The United States, Turkey and Iraq will jointly counter Kurdish rebels attacking Turkey from havens in northern Iraq, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday.
Rice, speaking to reporters in a press conference aboard her plane as she began a diplomatic mission to Turkey and the Middle East, was vague about what that might mean. She warned against doing anything that might make the situation worse.
Raids by the rebels and other fighting have left 47 people dead on the Turkish side since Sept. 29, including 35 soldiers. The skirmishes were the latest in a conflict that dates back to 1984 and has seen nearly 40,000 people killed.
Turkey has complained for months about what it contends is a lack of U.S. support against the rebels known as PKK. The Turkish government has threatened a full-scale ground attack into northern Iraq if the U.S. and Iraqi officials fail to do something about the rebels.
"We have a common enemy, and we are going to act as if we have a common enemy, which means that we are going to work with our Turkish allies and the Iraqis" to have an effective way of dealing with the PKK, Rice said.
The United States has scrambled to persuade Iraqi Kurds and Turkey to back away from an escalating conflict, but it has won no public promises to stand down.