Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
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Turkey bombs PKK targets in N. Iraq
Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:30am EDT
ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish warplanes bombed Kurdish separatist targets on Tuesday in northern Iraq with the backing of artillery fire from Turkey, the military said.
Violence has increased between Turkish security forces and the separatist rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) as tensions have risen in predominantly Kurdish southeastern Turkey.
The PKK uses northern Iraq as a base to launch attacks on targets inside Turkey.
The military said it had successfully hit the targets and that planes had returned safely to their Turkish bases. No civilians had been targeted or hit in the raid, it said.
Turkey has stepped up its military response since an attack from the PKK which killed 17 Turkish soldiers this month, and the parliament renewed a mandate earlier this month to allow military raids on separatists in northern Iraq.
Turkey to face gas shortage if Iranian pipeline delayed
BOTAS, the state-run Petroleum Pipeline Corporation, has warned that the country could face a serious gas shortage at the beginning of 2009 if the pipeline carrying Iranian natural gas to Turkey is not completed on time, Referans daily reported on Monday.
Turkey, heavily dependent on foreign energy supplies, has faced shortage risks posed mainly by Iran’s decision to cut the flow of natural gas to Turkey in previous years. Turkish and Iranian officials agreed to build an additional pipeline to secure the flow in order to avoid a similar situation.
Any halt to the flow of gas is also a matter of concern for the production of electricity, as more than 50 percent of the country’s electricity is produced by natural gas.
Gas flow problems derive from the limited capacity of the existing pipeline, where gas loses compression while passing through Iranian cities on the Tabriz-Urumiyah line.
The amount of gas Turkey received from Iran fell to a level of 4-5 million cubic meters per day, from the expected 18-29 million cubic meters, forcing Turkey to compensate the loss by increasing Russian gas imports.