Iraq summons Turkish ambassador over Ankara’s violations

Turkey has regularly attacked Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, both in its mainly Kurdish southeast and in northern Iraq, where the group is based. (File/AFP)
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Updated 13 August 2020

Iraq summons Turkish ambassador over Ankara’s violations

  • Turkey urges Baghdad to cooperate as operations against Kurdish militants to continue
  • In June, Ankara launched a new ground offensive, dubbed Operation Claw Tiger, that saw Turkish troops advance deeper into Iraq

ANKARA: Iraqi Foreign Ministry summoned Turkish Ambassador Fatih Yildiz to submit a letter of protest over Turkey’s violations, state news agency INA reported.

The Ministry summoned Yildiz due to Turkey’s “violations and breaches, including the latest drone attack in Erbil, Kurdistan, which killed two officers and a soldier,” Wednesday’s statement said.

The letter demands Turkey investigates the attack, punishes the perpetrators and withdraws all forces from Iraq.

On Tuesday, a Turkish air strike in northern Iraq killed two members of Iraq’s border guard and their driver, Iraq’s military said, calling the attack a “flagrant aggression.”
Iraq’s foreign ministry then said Baghdad canceled a visit by Turkey’s defense minister to the country.
In a statement early on Thursday, Turkey’s foreign ministry said PKK presence also threatened Iraq and that it was Baghdad’s responsibility to take measures against the militants, but that Ankara will defend its borders if the PKK’s presence is allowed.
“Our country is ready to cooperate with Iraq on this issue. However, in the event PKK presence in Iraq is overlooked, our country is determined to take the measures it deems necessary for its border security no matter where it may be,” the ministry said. “We call on Iraq to take the necessary steps for this.”
The PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict, focused in southeast Turkey.

Meanwhile, Turkey said it will continue its cross-border operations against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq if Baghdad continues to overlook the militants’ presence in the region, according to the foreign ministry.

The Turkish foreign ministry urged Iraqi authorities to cooperate with Ankara.
Turkey has regularly attacked Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, both in its mainly Kurdish southeast and in northern Iraq, where the group is based. In June, Ankara launched a new ground offensive, dubbed Operation Claw Tiger, that saw Turkish troops advance deeper into Iraq.


Iraqi officials: 3 dead, 2 wounded in Baghdad rocket attack

Updated 2 min 13 sec ago

Iraqi officials: 3 dead, 2 wounded in Baghdad rocket attack

BAGHDAD: Three Iraqi civilians were killed and two severely wounded Monday after a katyusha rocket hit near Baghdad airport, two Iraqi security officials said. It was the first time in months an attack caused civilian casualties.
The rocket targeted the international airport but struck a residential home close by instead, the two officials said. They requested anonymity in line with regulations. A child was among the dead, the officials said.
The rocket was launched from the Al-Jihad neighborhood of Baghdad, the officials said.
The attacks have become a frequent occurrence, often targeting the US Embassy in Baghdad, within the heavily fortified Green Zone, and US troops present in Iraqi bases as well as the Baghdad airport. Roadside bombs have also frequently targeted convoys carrying equipment destined for US-led coalition forces.
Previous attacks have caused minor damage but rarely deaths or injuries.
The frequency of the rockets have strained Iraq-US relations, prompting the Trump administration last week to threaten to close its diplomatic mission in Baghdad if Shiite militia groups believed to be orchestrating them are not reigned in.
The disparate nature of Shiite militias following the US assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani and Iranian militia leader Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis has complicated Iraqi efforts to clamp down on rogue armed elements.
A government raid on the powerful Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah, suspected of launching rocket attacks, backfired when those detained were released for want of evidence.