Kurdish peshmerga moves to Dohuk, ready to fight Turks

Türkiye Materials 22 February 2008 14:38 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Some 2000 Kurdish peshmerga forces from the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan on Friday moved from the northern Iraqi city of Erbil to the Iraqi-Turkish borders prepared for further attacks with the Turkish army, Kurdish peshmerga sources said.

"Additional Kurdish troops were sent to the city of Dohuk to support the already existing forces there, after Turkish forces had attacked the eastern part of the city," the source said.

He added the Kurds were preparing for a sudden military operation against the Turks.

On Thursday, Turkish artillery shelled Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq while Turkish warplanes hovered over the area.

Warplanes have been flying overnight into the early hours at low altitudes over several areas in northern Iraq, including Safa Qandil, Qalit Duza, Zarwa, Sinsakir and Raniya, Iraq's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) said on its website, quoting a local official.

Turkey has carried out regular cross-border airstrikes and small- scale operations targeting positions of the separatist Kurdistan's Workers' Party (PKK) rebels.

The PKK, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, has been fighting for a separate homeland for Turkey's Kurdish minority.

The Turkish army is preparing for a big offensive in northern Iraq in the spring, according to reports.