US warns Turkey to stay out of Iraq

Tue Oct 9, 1:59 PM ET

SIRNAK, Turkey - The United States has urged Turkey to refrain from a cross-border military operation to chase separatist Kurdish rebels who operate from bases in northern Iraq.

Meanwhile, the Kurdish regional government's spokesman Jamal Abdullah pleaded with Turkey to show restraint after Tuesday's statement.

"We call upon the Turkish government to exercise self-restraint and not to turn the region into an unstable one," he said. "Such attacks will threaten the stability not only in Iraq but the whole region."

One punitive measure at Turkey's disposal is to close the border with northern Iraq.

Iran had done the same to protest detention of an Iranian official, and reopened its border Monday. U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack warned against a unilateral move.

"If they have a problem, they need to work together to resolve it, and I'm not sure that unilateral incursions are the way to go," he said.

"We have counseled, both in public and private, for many, many months, the idea that it is important to work cooperatively to resolve this issue."