WASHINGTON, Oct 17 (Reuters) Turkey has no appetite for military action against Kurdish rebels hiding inside Iraq, the Pentagon said today after lawmakers in Ankara authorized just such an incursion.
''I don't think there is any willingness or any urgency or desire to have to solve this through military action, through a cross-border incursion into that area,'' said Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell.
''The Turks are clearly frustrated. They're clearly angry.
But I also do not think there is a great deal of appetite to take this next step,'' he said. ''It would have enormous implications not just for us but for the Turks.'' Turkey, an important US ally in the Muslim world, has repeatedly criticized the United States for failing to crack down on the PKK militants based in Iraq and warned it would take military action if US and Iraqi forces did not.
The United States, whose troops are too stretched elsewhere in Iraq to focus on the relatively peaceful northern area, has urged Ankara to show restraint.
Morrell said the local Kurdish government has influence over the PKK and that Washington thought negotiations among Ankara, Baghdad and the Kurdish officials could resolve the problem.
''Let's try to exert influence over the Kurdish regional government, who we believe has influence over the PKK and can hopefully get them to stop their murderous acts within Turkey,'' Morrell said.
REUTERS CS BST0047