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
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"
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German AWACS crews could be withdrawn from Turkey, since the German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
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