Monday, July 16, 2007

Turkey boosts troops at Iraqi border to over 200,000

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, July 13 (Reuters) - Turkey's army has boosted troop levels in the southeast to more than 200,000, most of them stationed along the border with Iraq, security sources told Reuters on Friday.

The unusually large-scale buildup, which includes tanks, heavy artillery and aircraft, is part of a security crackdown on Kurdish rebels hiding in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq, said the security sources, who declined to be named.

NATO member Turkey has refused to rule out a possible cross-border operation to crush Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels, despite opposition from the United States and Iraq.

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