Baghdad Airs Kurdish TV to Win Over Iraqi Kurds

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Posted by Jeff ( on January 26, 2002 at 16:32:41:

Baghdad Airs Kurdish TV to Win Over Iraqi Kurds

TUNCELI, Turkey (Reuters) - Baghdad has begun airing Kurdish-language television broadcasts in a bid to win over Iraqi Kurds as fears mount the U.S. ``war on terrorism'' could spread to Iraq, Kurdish officials told Reuters on Saturday.

Kurds wrested control of northern Iraq from Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites) and are protected by U.S. and British warplanes based in Turkey who patrol a no-fly zone over the enclave.

``Saddam Hussein is using this method to win over and influence Kurds before a U.S. attack on Iraq,'' a Kurdish official said on condition of anonymity.

The station has launched trial broadcasts from a studio in the town of Kirkuk near the Kurdish enclave and will begin airing regular programming in the coming weeks, he said.

U.S. President George Bush has warned Hussein to allow U.N. weapons inspectors to return or face consequences.

The rival Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which administer breakaway northern Iraq, have said they oppose Hussein but are wary of any U.S. military action against his regime.

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