The Defence Minister, Ismet Sezgin, said the government had studied the possibility of a security zone in northern Iraq to prevent refugees flooding to Turkey's border. "If there were such an operation it would be on humanitarian grounds, to prevent a repeat of the events of 1991." A million Iraqi Kurds stampeded to Iran and Turkey after a failed Kurdish uprising against Baghdad following the 1991 Gulf war. That influx prompted the US-led Western allies to carve out a "safe haven" in the north to keep Kurds out of Iraqi government control. - Reuters, DiyarbakirReuse content
Thousands of Turkish commandos backed by armour pushed into Kurdish- held northern Iraq yesterday, witnesses said. The Turks said the soldiers had gone to set up camps at Kurdish towns for potential refugees from any conflict between Washington and Baghdad.