Iraq sets up border posts to try to prevent Turkish advance

( The Washington Post) Iraqi troops were enforcing positions along the border with Turkey, officials said Friday, to prevent Turkish forces from advancing deeper into Iraqi territory after two weeks of airstrikes as Ankara continues to target Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.

Security officials said Ankara has established at least a dozen posts inside Iraqi territory as part of a military campaign to rout members of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK, who Turkey says have safe havens in northern Iraq. The airborne-and-land campaign, dubbed “Operation Claw-Tiger,” began June 17 when Turkey airlifted troops into northern Iraq.

Since then, at least six Iraqi civilians have been killed as Turkish jets pound PKK targets, and several villages in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region have been evacuated.

The invading Turkish troops set up posts in the Zakho district in northern province of Dohuk, about 15 kilometers (9 miles) inside Iraqi territory, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the military operations.

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