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Mon

22

Oct

2007

Daily Roundup from Willard Payne (Night Watch Information Service)
Monday, 22 October 2007 22:42
by Willard Payne
SULAIMANIYAH - Reports of a ceasefire in northern Iraq between Kurdish fighters in the PKK and the Turkish government in Ankara may have been premature. AKI reported a statement from Iraq President Jalal Talabani, speaking at Sulaimaniyah airport, a predominantly Kurdish city near Iran’s border, stating the PKK had accepted a ceasefire. But Hoda Abdel Hamid, of Al Jazeera in northern Iraq, said Kurdish leaders informed her no such arrangements were being made and denied the reports. “The leadership based here is denying at this point of time a truce offer has been made.” Turkey Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, speaking in Kuwait said, “We will try all diplomatic means before carrying out any military operation.” But he then added if diplomacy does not work Ankara “will not hesitate.” The estimated number of troops Turkey has massed near Iraq’s boder has varied all year with one estimate as high as 250,000 but the latest figure now mentioned is 100,000 troops supported by tanks, fighter jets and helicopters.

AKI reported earlier U. S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice requested in a phone call to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Ankara give Washington a couple of days notice before any invasion. Wednesday is the scheduled meeting of Turkey’s National Security Council and their evaluation of an Action Plan-Offensive into northern Iraq. In a later development, Xinhua is reporting U. S. President George W. Bush, in a phone call to Turkey President Abdullah Gul, has stated Washington will join Ankara in its effort to combat the PKK. Perhaps the Pentagon can arrange some air support.
Damascus - Gulf Times - AFP report a senior North Korean offiical arrived in Damascus Friday. He is Choe Thae-Bok, Chairman of North Korea Supreme People’s Assembly meeting with Syria Prime Minister Mohamed Naji Otri to dicuss ways of increasing ballistic missiles technology and nuclear material Pyongyang may still be able to export to Syria. According to an Arab-Israeli newspaper it was a Syria-Iran missile base destroyed by Israel’s air strike early September.
Beit Hanoun - In order to maintain some pressure on Israel Teheran has had the Palestinian militant unit Islamic Jihad continue its rocket offensive by firing seven rockets from Beit Hanoun into Israel. Xinhua reports the rockets landed in an open area and caused no damage.

Daily Roundup from Willard Payne (Night Watch Information Service)
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