Kurds vow to fight Turkish troops in Iraq

Oct. 15, 2003 at 7:46 AM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- The separatist Kurdish Labor Party of jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan has vowed to attack Turkish troops if they deployed in northern Iraq.

Abdullah's brother, Othman Ocalan, said in an interview with an-Nahar newspaper the party, known as PKK, will resist Turkish troops if "they occupied" northern Iraq, which the party views as the southern part of their Kurdish homeland.

"Our forces will be ready to expand and step up military resistance and no one will be able to stop us from defending our people," Ocalan said.

The Turkish parliament recently approved the government's decision to dispatch forces to northern Iraq to help the U.S. command control security. The Turkish decision was opposed by various Arab and Kurdish factions in Iraq.

Othman, whose brother and PKK leader is serving a life sentence in Turkey, warned his party "will not accept any form of occupation that would threaten the freedom of the Kurdish people."

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