U.S. seeks helps from Turks, Kurds against Sunni insurgency

Saturday, August 30, 2003

The United States has asked militias in northern Iraq to contribute combatants for the war against Sunni insurgents.

Arab diplomatic sources said U.S. Central Command has negotiated with several militias for fighters to help neutralize the insurgency in the Sunni Triangle. The sources said the U.S. military requires troops amid delays in the formation of international divisions.

So far, Central Command has approached Kurdish and Turkmen forces. The sources said the Kurds have agreed to participate in operations while the ethnic Turks refused.

The Turkmen Front refused a U.S request to send 1,500 combatants to the Sunni Triangle, Middle East Newsline reported. The Turkmens were said to have responded that they don't have sufficient manpower and that all combatants were required to maintain security in Kirkuk.

Last week, at least 11 people were killed in a clash between Kurdish and Turkmen forces in Kirkuk. It was the first report of casualties in simmering tensions between the two ethnic groups.

Kurdish groups have agreed to the U.S. request to help quell the Sunni insurgency. The sources said the Kurds will send 2,000 combatants to such cities as Baqubah, Faluja and Tikrit, the heart of the Sunni uprising.

The sources said the U.S. request to the Kurds and Turkmens came amid Turkish delays to send troops to the Sunni Triangle. Turkey has been asked to send at least 10,000 troops to the area.

Print this Article Print this Article Email this article Email this article Subscribe to this Feature Free Headline Alerts
Search Worldwide Web Search Search WorldTrib Archives

See current edition of

Return to World Front Cover