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Senior general: Turkey on verge of cross-border operation
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A senior Turkish army general said Thursday that the country was in the process of implementing across-border operation against the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) based in northern Iraq, private NTV reported.


"We are now in the process of implementing a cross-border operation," which "will be a heavy blow to PKK camps in northern Iraq," General Ilker Basbug, head of the land forces, was quoted as saying.


No further details about the operation were immediately available, but Basbug noted that the parliament has authorized the cabinet on the operation.


Of course, when and how this mandate will be implemented is "a completely separate issue," he added.


The general's remarks came one day after Ankara said the US had begun to share intelligence on rebel targets in northern Iraq.


Turkey has massed up to 100,000 troops near the border with Iraq in preparation for a cross-border operation to crush the northern Iraq-based 3,000-strong PKK rebels.


The PKK, listed by the US, the EU and Turkey as a terrorist group, took up arms against Turkey in 1984 with the aim of creating an ethnic homeland in the southeast.


More than 30,000 people have been killed in the conflict that has lasted more than two decades.


(Xinhua News Agency November 16, 2007)

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