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Turkish Lawmakers Approve Attacks on Iraq

Turkey's parliament has passed a motion authorizing military attacks against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. The United States government and Iraqi leaders have warned Turkey not to enter Iraq.

Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish member of Iraq's parliament about the motion, says the approval for the attacks was expected, but the Iraqi people are concerned because the incursions could destabilize the Kurdish region — one of the nation's stable areas.

Instead, Othman says, Turkey should try to solve the problem through peaceful means.

Othman contends the Kurds do not want to get involved in Turkey's affairs, but the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, are using the Kurdish region to hide from the Turks.

As tense as the situation is, it might have grown worse recently. The U.S. House is considering a resolution to define the 1915 mass killings of Armenians in Turkey as "genocide." The U.S. control over Iraq could give Turkey — which opposes the resolution — an extra incentive to carry out the incursions.

Othman talks to Alex Cohen about the situation.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.