ANKARA, Turkey Turkey will wait until the prime minister visits Washington in November before deciding on a cross-border offensive into northern Iraq, the country's top military commander said Friday.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets President Bush in Washington on Nov. 5. "The Armed Forces will carry out a cross-border offensive when assigned," private NTV quoted Gen. Yasar Buyukanit as saying. "Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to the United States is very important, we will wait for his return."
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek said the government demanded the extradition of Kurdish rebel leaders based in Iraq's north. Amid talks with a visiting Iraqi delegation, Turkish war planes and helicopters reportedly bombed separatist hideouts within the country's borders.
Despite repeated Turkish demands for more action from both the United States and Iraq, U.S. Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon said he plans to do "absolutely nothing" to counter Kurdish rebels operating from the region.