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Turkish PM: Government to Seek Approval for Military Action in Iraq


Turkey's prime minister says the government could submit a motion to parliament on Thursday requesting approval to launch military operations against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.

In an interview with CNN Turk broadcast late Wednesday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said officials are drafting a decree that seeks authorization to launch a military incursion within one year.

Mr. Erdogan said a military operation could begin at any time, not necessarily as soon as the motion is approved.

Turkey says rebels with the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, have been launching attacks against Turkey from bases in northern Iraq.

The United States has again warned Turkey against unilateral military action to pursue the rebels.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino says the U.S. wants to work with Turkey and Iraq to eradicate the terrorist problem in northern Iraq, noting the situation can be handled without military action.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Turkey is a crucial ally in the battle against terrorism.

On Tuesday, Mr. Erdogan approved all necessary measures to fight Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, including a possible military incursion.

Iraq responded by saying an accord signed with Turkey last month is the best way to deal with Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. The pact commits Iraqi troops to fight the rebels but does not allow Turkey to send its troops into Iraq.

In southeastern Turkey Wednesday, officials say a policeman was killed and at least four people were injured when a police vehicle exploded in the city of Diyarbakir.

It was unclear who was behind the attack. PKK rebels have recently increased attacks on security officials in southeastern Turkey.

At least 15 Turkish soldiers have been killed in attacks since Sunday.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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