Turkey declined on Wednesday to give Baghdad a timetable for the withdrawal of troops fighting Kurdish guerrillas in northern Iraq, resisting pressure from the United States and other allies to end the offensive quickly. Thousands of Turkish troops crossed the border on Thursday to root out Kurdistan Workers' Party fighters.
Iraqi fishmongers complained on Monday that rumours of river carp eating human flesh had caused sales to plummet, even though senior clerics denied reports they had banned the fish from the table. Over the past four years, the bodies of hundreds of victims of the city's death squads and militias have been dumped in the Tigris.
Nine United States warships carrying 17 000 personnel entered the Persian Gulf on Wednesday in a show of force off Iran's coast that navy officials said was the largest daytime assembly of ships since the 2003 Iraq war. US Navy officials said Iran had not been notified of plans to sail the ships, which include two aircraft carriers.