The Turkish prime minister said on private CNN-Turk TV on Wednesday that a decree to allow cross-border military operations into Iraq might be sent to the Parliament on Thursday.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a live interview on CNN-Turk that officials were working on the decree which would allow a military incursion into Iraq's north and the text might be sent to Parliament for approval as soon as Thursday morning.

Erdogan said the decree, if approved by the Parliament, would expire in a year. He said a military incursion could happen at any time, but not necessarily right after the Parliament approves the decree.

If parliament approves, the military could choose to launch an operation against the Kurdish rebels in Iraq's north immediately or wait to see if the United States and its allies decide to crack down on the rebels, who have been fighting for autonomy in southeast Turkey since 1984 in a conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.