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USWAR/German secret service says no evidence of Turkish incursion in

Berlin, March 22, IRNA -- German intelligence services have no        
evidence of a major Turkish intervention in northern Iraq, German     
intelligence and security circles told IRNA here Saturday.            
    "We don't see a military intervention in Iraq," a high-ranking    
German security official, requesting anonymity, said.                 
   He confirmed that there were Turkish troops movements in north     
Iraq however he suspected that the 1000-man Turkish contingent was    
part of a total 4,000-strong regiment which crossed the borders early 
this year.                                                            
    He added that the 1000 Turkish soldiers who belong to the border  
police battalion, were assigned to northern Iraq to possibly relieve  
their comrades in the region.                                         
    The official did say however that Turkey has ammassed at least    
75,000 soldiers at the Turkish-Iraqi border.                          
    German national security council met earlier in the day to discuss
the situation in northern Iraq.                                       
    Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said after the meeting that      
German crews manning AWACS planes in Turkey will remain there for the 
time being, while warning Turkey against becoming a "warring party"   
in Turkey.                                                            
    Although Germany is not participating in the US-led invasion of   
Iraq, it is providing crews to man AWACS planes as part of NATO's     
mission to defend Turkey.                                             
    But with Turkish troops having marched into northern Iraq, the    
case could be made that this was an offensive military move and thus  
German AWACS crews could be withdrawn from Turkey, since the German   
constitution bars military assistance in acts of military aggression. 

last Update Saturday, 22-Mar-2003 09:57:33 PST
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