Robert Gates (file photo) (epa)
June 3, 2007 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has called on Turkey not to send troops into northern Iraq to hunt down Kurdish rebels.
Gates told reporters today on the sidelines of an Asian security conference in Singapore that Turkey has a "genuine concern" about Kurdish terrorism on Turkish territory, but he said the United States opposes any unilateral action by Turkey across the border in Iraq.
Turkey has built up military forces on the Iraqi border amid tensions over Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants using hideouts in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq.
However, Gates refused to comment on a reported U.S. naval bombardment of terrorist targets in Somalia. He described the situation as "possibly an ongoing operation," and said he would not comment further.
Reports have said that a U.S. warship shelled suspected Al-Qaeda targets in northern Somalia on June 1 after government troops clashed with Islamic militants.
(compiled from agency reports)