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A group of 300 Turkish troops crossed into Kurdish territory in northern Iraq overnight and moved about three kilometres deeper into Iraq on Tuesday morning.
A senior Iraqi military source said the Turkish troops were lightly armed and moved into the Gali Rash area, a mountainous district near the border.
This first ground incursion comes as Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, made an unannounced visit to Kirkuk in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region.
U.S. Helps Turkey Hit Rebel Kurds In Iraq
The United States is providing Turkey with real-time intelligence that has helped the Turkish military target a series of attacks this month against Kurdish separatists holed up in northern Iraq, including a large airstrike on Sunday, according to Pentagon officials.
U.S. military personnel have set up a center for sharing intelligence in Ankara, the Turkish capital, providing imagery and other immediate information gathered from U.S. aircraft and unmanned drones flying over the separatists' mountain redoubts, the officials said. A senior administration official said the goal of the U.S. program is to identify the movements and activities of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), which is fighting to create an autonomous enclave in Turkey.