Turkey says Iraqi criticism of air strikes 'unacceptable'

Turkish Foreign Ministry issues statement rejecting Iraqi criticism of recent Turkish air strikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Aug 2, 2015
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has called criticism from the Iraqi government of recent Turkish air strikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq is "incomprehensible and unacceptable," asking the country to honour its commitment of “not allowing any attack towards Turkey from Iraqi territory.”
The Associated Press previously reported that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi commented on Turkish air strikes in northern Iraq by saying that his cabinet regards the attacks as “a dangerous escalation and a violation of Iraq's sovereignty."
In a press release on July 31, the Turkish Foreign Ministry in turn said that “the negative attitude adopted by the Iraqi government regarding the steps taken by Turkey” against activities by the outlawed PKK in northern Iraqi territory “has caused disappointment” in Turkey.

Turkey has recently been targeted with increasing attacks by the ISIS and PKK terrorist groups since a suicide bombing attack which was blamed on ISIS in Suruc district of Turkey’s southeastern province of Sanliurfa claimed 32 lives on July 20. 

The PKK has in particular increased its attacks on both police and the Turkish Armed Forces and killed several security officers as well as civilians. At least 16 Turkish security officials have been killed until Saturday in terror attacks carried by PKK and ISIS. 

ISIS and PKK are recognised terror organisation by Turkey as well as NATO, US and EU.

Turkish security forces have stepped up efforts against the militant groups and began a campaign of air strikes on July 24 against several targets used by ISIS and PKK in Syria and northern Iraq.

The Foreign Ministry statement also accused Iraq of harboring numerous armed PKK terrorists on its own territory for decades and said that a country which cannot fulfill its own commitments has no way of keeping its borders intact.

The statement also expressed indignation that Iraq,  “one-third of whose territory is under the control of a terrorist organisation,” could take “a stance against Turkey in its fight against the PKK terrorist organisation.”

The Turkish operations in northern Iraq are “within the framework of international of law,” the statement added.

Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu recently visited the Kurdish region in northern Iraq and met with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani and other notable Kurdish leaders to discuss the Turkish airstrikes against PKK and ISIS targets.

Turkey has undertaken numerous cross-border operations against PKK camps and hideouts, targeting PKK terrorists in northern Iraq with the support of Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party Peshmerga forces and Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Peshmerga forces since the 1980s.

TRTWorld and agencies