Thursday, May 11, 2006

Border tension

The Bush administration has managed to destabilize the Middle East in troubling ways. I am not certain they even admit to themselves the results of their policies.

The A.P.:
ANKARA, Turkey – Hundreds of Kurds had to flee their homes in the mountain village of Razqa, Iraq, when artillery shells came whistling down from Iran early this month, blowing apart their homes and livestock.

In Turkey, meanwhile, armored personnel carriers and tanks rumble along its remote border with Iraq's Kurdish zone. Turkey has sent tens of thousands of fresh soldiers in the last few weeks to beef up an already formidable force there.

The Kurdish provinces of northern Iraq are the country's most stable and prosperous area. But to neighboring Iran and Turkey, both with large Kurdish minorities, they are something else: an inspiration and a support base for the Kurdish militants in their own countries.
The Zaman Daily:
After the Tehran administration conducted operations against the terror network Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) by crossing the Iraqi border, the US Army in Iraq is claimed to have increased the military build up of US troops on the Iranian border.

Tehran local radio announced the US stationed army units on the Iraqi border, increased reconnaissance flights in the region, and trained anti-Iran militias in Iraq. Iranian Interior Ministry confirmed the information.

Activity on the 450 kilometer long border is gradually increasing. Tehran radio also recorded that the US aircrafts reconnaissance flights could also be seen from villages along the border.

According to reports on Turkish news channel CNN Turk, Acting Iranian Interior Minister Mohammed Bakir Zulkadir also confirmed the border activity and said they are closely monitoring the situation.
Recall in late April there was this from the Los Angeles Times:
QATIF, Saudi Arabia — The conflict in Iraq has begun to spill over onto this hardscrabble, sunburned swath of coast, breathing new life into the ancient rivalry between the country's powerful Sunni Muslim majority and the long-oppressed Shiite minority in one of the most oil-rich areas of the world.

"Saudi Sunnis are defending Iraqi Sunnis, and Saudi Shiites are defending Iraqi Shiites," said Hassan Saffar, Saudi Arabia's most influential Shiite cleric. "There's a fear that it will cause a struggle here."


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