February 25, 2008 / 3:08 PM / 12 years ago

White House urges short Turkish incursion to Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Turkish incursion into northern Iraq to try to hunt down Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels who have launched attacks inside Turkey should be limited, the White House said on Monday .

“It’s obviously not an ideal situation,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters. “We hope that this is a short-term incursion so that they can help deal with the threat.”

She said that U.S. officials were in contact with the Turkish government and praised the dialogue between Ankara and Iraqi leaders over the problem.

Ankara launched a ground incursion on Thursday in a remote part of Iraq’s largely autonomous region of Kurdistan to track down PKK rebels. The PKK has used the area as a base to stage attacks inside Turkey in pursuit of its goal of a Kurdish homeland in southeastern Turkey.

“The ideal situation would be that the PKK no longer exists in Iraq,” Perino said.

Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by Patricia Wilson

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