Turkey is likely to send up to 10,000 troops to Iraq by yearend, despite initial Iraqi opposition to the Turkish Parliament's Oct. 7 decision to deploy peacekeepers to assist struggling U.S. military forces. Some members of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council voiced reservations about the Turkish deployment, but the ultimate decision is Washington's, officials say.
The 358-183 parliamentary vote is seen as a victory for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He wanted to repair Ankara's relations with Washington, damaged when the Parliament refused U.S. troops passage through Turkish territory on the eve of the war. Now, Turkey will receive $8.5 billion in U.S. loan guarantees.
Edited by Rose Brady