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OIL PROMPTED TURKISH INVASION

A few days ago the military-dominated government of Turkey sent at least 35,000 troops, with tanks and F-16s, across the border into the northern portion of Iraq. That is the "no-fly zone" where the United States and its allies - including Turkey - are protecting Iraqi Kurds from the genocidal fury of Saddam Hussein.

The ostensible purpose of the Turkish invasion is to kill some 2,500 Kurdish radicals who have been using terror tactics to whip up support for an end to suppression of millions of Kurds within Turkey.That's Ankara's cover story, which the Clinton State Department naively accepted as the invasion began. Hot pursuit of terrorists drew no objection from Foggy Bottom. Nor were questions asked about the disproportionate amount of force being used or the total press blackout.

Soon it will dawn on our diplomats that the Turks are not merely punishing separatist Kurds. If that were the only reason for the attack, Turkey's planes would hit the bases of the terrorist PKK in Syria and the Bekaa Valley in Syria's Lebanon.

Turkey's concealed interest is in the control of oil facilities in Kurdish Iraq: 20 miles of pipeline near Fishkhabour was put beyond the control of Saddam Hussein.