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Turkey Refuses to close Bases in North Iraq

Last Updated: March 6, 2008 02:01 EST
 By Mark Bentley

March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Turkey rejected a request by Iraqi Kurds to shut down military bases in northern Iraq, Vatan newspaper reported citing a statement by the Turkish army.

Turkey won't withdraw about 2,000 soldiers stationed at the bases in the regions of Bamerni, Batufa, Kanimasi and Dilmentepe until the threat to Turkey's security posed by Kurdish militants is eradicated, the army said, according to the Istanbul-based Vatan.

Turkish military units have operated in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq as an observation force since the mid-1990s. Turkey on Feb. 29 ended a week-long military incursion into Iraq to attack militants, the biggest for more than a decade.
To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Bentley in Ankara at mbentley3@bloomberg.net;