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Turkey urges Iraq to crack down on Kurdish rebels

By AP | Ankara | 13 Oct 2011

Turkey’s foreign minister said Thursday that Iraq should move to prevent Kurdish attacks on his country from Iraqi soil as the two countries renewed their commitment to fight the rebels.

Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey’s patience was running out and that it was determined to eradicate the rebel threat from neighboring northern Iraq.

“We no longer have patience for terrorist activity directed toward Turkey from Iraqi soil,” Davutoglu told a joint news conference with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.

Zebari, a Kurd, said Iraq was willing to increase pressure on the rebels but that his country does not have the resources now to defeat the guerrillas of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK.

Iraq, however, reaffirmed its determination “to eliminate PKK and all other terrorists’ organizations’ presence in Iraq,” following security talks between the sides earlier this week, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

“Both countries will enhance their cooperation in their struggle against terrorism in accordance with international law,” the statement said without elaborating.

Kurdish rebels have been using Iraq as a launch pad for attacks on Turkish targets in a war for autonomy in Turkey’s southeast. Turkish warplanes have recently struck rebel bases in Iraq in response to an escalation of attacks by the rebels since July.