US forces intercept Turkish special forces in Iraq
According to Time magazine, US forces has arrested a team of Turkish special forces that had made its way into Kurdish areas of Iraq.
The soldiers wore civilian clothes and attempted to get in under a humanitarian pretext, but US forces had been tipped about the attempt to infiltrate Kirkuk, and arrested them at a checkpoint. U.S. brigade commander Col. Bill Mayville has no doubt about their intentions:
“They did not come here with a pure heart. Their objective is to create an environment that can be used by Turkey to send a large peacekeeping force into Kirkuk.”
Turkey has repeatedly irritated the US administration over Iraq and Kurdistan. It will be interesting to see the US response to a deliberate attempt by Turkey to provoke a war in Kurdistan to justify an invasion.
Turkey has obviously shot themselves in the leg by refusing US forces to open a northern front, and by continuously provoking the US. The Kurds, on the other hand, have seized on the opportunity to align themselves closely with Washington. They no doubt hope that this will be the first conflict in the region where the Kurds get the upper hand. Provided, of course, that the US remembers who have been their friends, and who have been their enemies.