BAGHDAD – Iraq's government, under growing pressure to crack down on Kurdish rebels using the country's north as a base for guerilla attacks in Turkey, ordered their offices closed Tuesday and promised to curb their movements and block their funds.
As Turkish soldiers massed along the border, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that his country cannot wait forever for the Iraqi government to move.
In Washington, a top American diplomat said leaders of the autonomous Kurdish area in northern Iraq have been lax in pursuing the rebels, while in Baghdad the Turkish foreign minister pressed the Iraqi leadership to do more.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the offices of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known by its Turkish acronym PKK, closed, and said the government will "not allow it to work on Iraqi territory."
The statement from al-Maliki contradicted repeated assertions by Iraqi officials in recent days that the PKK's presence in Iraq was restricted to inaccessible parts of northern Iraq that could not be reached by authorities.