Saturday, March 29, 2008

Safety update

There were reports on Thursday that Turkey was again massing troops near the Iraqi border, followed by a report today that they killed 15 PKK members in northern Iraq yesterday. Be sensible. And it would be wise to avoid any political demonstrations in Turkey's southeast. Apart from that, it seems that all is well in the main cities of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Meanwhile, in the rest of Iraq, there is some kind of civil war going on, with the Mehdi Army's ceasefire broken. There have been clashes between militias and Iraqi government forces in Basra, Baghdad (especially Sadr City), Kut, Karbala, Hilla and Diwaniyah.

Detailed reporting on violence is at Iraq War News Today.

In other news, Soma Digest has an interesting report on the challenges of getting the free market functioning in Iraqi Kurdistan, and insight into the Turkish businesses working there.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Turkey still shelling

Reports are out that despite pulling its troops out of Iraq, they are still shelling some remote mountain locations, the one mentioned being Dashti Barzji, in the mountains of Erbil province.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Border open, Turks going home?

I have it on good authority that the border between Silopi and Zakho is still open, despite the Turkish military action in the region.

Peshmerga are reporting that Turkish troops are beginning to pull out of northern Iraq, over the border and back into Turkey. This is despite the Turks saying on Wednesday that there was 'no timeframe' for withdrawal.

Meanwhile Iraqi Kurds, who a year ago were very pro-US, now seem to be disillusioned with the US's neutral stance on Turkey's incursion. I know that when I was there in February last year I saw many US flags for sale and on display, as well as framed pictures of George W. Bush and Tony Blair.

And a some Turkish thoughts on the 'Kurdish question'.