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Turkey's Prime Minister Says Army Authorized to Carry Out Iraq Operation


Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the Turkish government has authorized the army to carry out a cross-border operation against Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq.

In televised comments Friday, Mr. Erdogan said the decision to carry out the operation was made at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. He said Turkish President Abdullah Gul approved of the plan.

Mr. Erdogan did not indicate if such an operation was imminent.

Turkey has massed tens of thousands of troops along the Iraqi border in preparation for a possible military strike against rebels from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party.

Turkey accuses the PKK of using bases in northern Iraq to launch deadly attacks in southeastern Turkey.

Last month, Turkey's parliament approved a resolution giving the government the go-ahead to order a cross-border military operation against PKK militants in Iraq.

The United States and Iraq have urged Turkey not to launch a cross-border incursion into northern Iraq, fearing it could destabilize the relatively peaceful region.

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

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