Turkish Troops Leaving N. Iraq

BAGHDAD, Feb. 29 — Turkey announced Friday that it had pulled its troops out of northern Iraq, ending an eight-day invasion to pursue Kurdish guerrillas that raised tensions with the Iraqi government and fears of a regional conflict. The withdrawal came one day after both President Bush and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates urged a swift end to the offensive.

Turkish officials denied they had been pressured into ending their country’s most extensive operation in northern Iraq in more than a decade. They said they had completed their objective of weakening the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which for decades has fought for Kurdish rights and autonomy in Turkey from mountain bases in northern Iraq.

“The Turkish Armed Forces decided when to begin and end the operation on its own deliberation and its decision is not influenced from outside or inside,” Turkey’s chief of general staff, Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, said in a statement.

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