November 4, 2007 / 12:57 PM / 12 years ago

Chronology-Regional crisis in northern Iraq

(Reuters) - Eight Turkish soldiers, captured last month by Kurdish guerrillas, were released on Sunday.

Turkish soldiers on their armoured personnel carrier (APC) patrol a road surrounded by mountains in the southeastern Turkish province of Sirnak, bordering Iraq, November 4, 2007. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov

Turkey wants leaders of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) arrested and seeks the closure of camps in northern Iraq which they use as bases for cross-border attacks in their 23-year-old campaign for a homeland in southeast Turkey.

Here is a short chronology on recent tensions on the Turkey-Iraq border:

Sept 28, 2007 - Turkey signs an anti-terrorism deal with Iraq targeting the PKK but fails to win Baghdad’s consent to allow raids across the border.

Sept 29 - Twelve civilians are killed when Kurdish rebels ambushed their minibus in Sirnak province.

Oct 7 - Kurdish rebels kill 13 Turkish soldiers in fighting in Sirnak province. Two other soldiers die the next day in separate PKK landmine explosions.

Oct 17 - Turkey’s parliament approves a government request to allow troops to cross into northern Iraq.

Oct 21 - Kurdish rebels kill 12 Turkish soldiers in an ambush, prompting Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to call talks to consider a military strike. Eight other troops are taken hostage.

— Washington asks Turkey to hold back from sending troops into northern Iraq.

Oct 24 - Turkish warplanes attack an Iraqi village but Turkey says it wants to hold back from a major incursion to give diplomacy a chance.

Oct 29 - Helicopter gunships bomb Kurdish rebel positions in southeast Turkey and the government flexes its military muscle with big national day parades and flypasts in major cities.

Oct 31 - Turkey agrees to pursue economic sanctions against groups supporting the outlawed PKK.

Nov 2 - Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice promises “effective” action against Kurdish rebels launching attacks on Turkey from northern Iraq, but urges Ankara to refrain from military action.

— Jailed Kurdish PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan, says he is open to a democratic solution to the 23-year-old conflict between the Turkish military and his guerrilla group.

Nov 3 - Iraq says it is ready to hunt down and arrest Kurdish guerrilla leaders. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki met Erdogan and Turkish President Abdullah Gul as diplomatic efforts between Turkey, Iraq and the United States intensify.

— The regional government says it has shut down the offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party which sympathizes with the PKK.

Nov 4 - Eight Turkish soldiers, kidnapped last month, are freed in northern Iraq.

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