Monday, Dec. 17, 2007 By ANDREW PURVIS
A villager walks through a rubble in Qlatooka, near Iraq’s border with Turkey on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2007. Turkish war planes bombed Kurdish rebel targets inside northern Iraq, Sunday.
The official U.S. line is that Washington did not approve Turkey’s Sunday air strike on Kurdish targets in northern Iraq. But the U.S. does control the skies over Iraq and the Pentagon did open airspace over Iraq for at least three hours to Turkish warplanes. It was also informed of the raids beforehand, according to an American spokesperson in Ankara. "By opening its airspace, America gave its approval to the operation," Turkish General Yasar Buyukanit said. He also said U.S. intelligence provided targeting information for the attack. The U.S. may not have formally approved Sunday’s operation, but it did everything short of that. In fact, the raids "show a degree of tactical cooperation between the U.S. and Turkey that we have not seen since the beginning of the Iraq war," according to Mark Parris, a former U.S.ambassador to Turkey now at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. Turkey sent another 300 troops across the border on Tuesday. Washington may see such raids as the best way to prevent tensions between Turkey and Iraq from spilling over into a broader conflict.