Turkey’s brief incursion into Iraqi territory to combat Kurdish PKK rebels, labeled a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU, has ended Turkish officials say. It is the PKK’s mission to create an independent Kurdistan, which would include parts of what is now Turkey. Turkey has recurrent fears that the nearly autonomous Iraqi Kurds will create their own state that would include the oil-rich Kirkuk, which features a pipeline into Turkey. If there were to be an independent Kurdish state, it would be the only Middle Eastern country wealthy in both oil and fresh water sources. Furthermore, the PKK rebels have been a constant threat to Turkey as they have frequently ambushed Turkish troops. Turkish officials are saying that no Iraqi Kurds were involved in the fighting, as was the worry of Iraqi officials. Fortunately, with the removal of Turkish troops, fears of igniting regional tensions, especially concerning Iraq’s sovereignty, have subsided.
Turkish troops pull out of Iraq – [BBC]