ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s prime minister will ask parliament to authorize a military push into north Iraq to fight Kurdish rebels amid Turkish anger on Thursday at a U.S. vote branding Ottoman Turk killings of Armenians genocide.
Analysts say a large Turkish cross-border incursion remains unlikely, but Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government will seek authorization for it after a public holiday which ends on Sunday, a ruling party member told Reuters.
Washington fears such a move could destabilize Iraq’s most peaceful area and potentially the wider region, but Erdogan has been under mounting pressure to act after Wednesday’s vote on the highly sensitive issue of the killings in 1915 of Armenians.
The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee approved a resolution branding the killings genocide — a charge Turkey hotly denies.
The United States relies on Turkish bases to supply its war effort in Iraq but the U.S. vote. Any Turkish offensive into north Iraq would seriously strain ties with the United States and possibly hurt Turkey’s European Union accession bid.
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