Turkey has massed 140,000 soldiers on its border with northern Iraq, Iraq's foreign minister said Monday, calling the neighboring country's fears of Kurdish rebels based there "legitimate" but better resolved through negotiation.
In Washington, a Pentagon official disputed the claim by Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd from northern Iraq, and said satellite photos indicated no such troop buildup.
It was unclear where Zebari got the figures. If accurate, Turkey would have nearly as many soldiers along its border with Iraq as the 155,000 troops which the U.S. has in the country.
Zebari's comments came amid calls by Turkey's military for the government to give it the green light to carry out military operations in northern Iraqi against the rebel Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.
So why would there be several reports from various news agencies in the region that Turkey has been massing forces on Iraq's northern border if Iraq and the US say no such thing is happening?