US forces to do ‘absolutely nothing’ to thwart PKK rebels: general

The senior US military commander in northern Iraq said on Friday his forces planned to do ‘absolutely nothing’ to counter Kurdish rebels involved in cross-border attacks on Turkey.
Major General Benjamin Mixon, commander of Multi-National Division North, said Iraq’s three northern provinces were under the control of the Kurdish provincial government and that he had no instructions to take action in the border area.
Asked what his forces planned to do against the Kurdish Workers Party or PKK rebels, Mixon said: “Absolutely nothing.”
Pressed by reporters via a video link-up from Iraq whether there was anything US forces could do to head off a Turkish cross-border incursion, Mixon said, “I have not been given any requirements or any responsibility for that.”
He said he had been given no instructions “that would even vaguely resemble” sending US forces into the Kurdish areas to reassure the Turks.
“Let me put it to you very clearly: the three northern provinces are under KRG (Kurdish regional government) provincial Iraqi control.
“They have a security force, which you are all familiar with known as the pesh-merga. It’s their responsibility to ensure the integrity of their particular provinces,” he said.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2007