Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani 's remarks came a day after a Turkish base came under attack in northern Iraq.
Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on Sunday condemned the PKK-instigated attack on a base belonging to the Turkish Armed Forces in northern Iraq.
“We don’t accept the use of our land to threaten the security of our neighbours. Our people are paying the price of using our territory to threaten the security of our neighbours. PKK is using our land to target our neighbours, and our people are paying the price of it,” he said in a press conference in Erbil.
Earlier on Saturday, the Turkish Defense Ministry said a base belonging to Turkish Armed Forces in northern Iraq was attacked after PKK terror group’s provocation.
“As a result of the provocation of the PKK terrorist organisation, an attack took place in our base area located in northern Iraq,” the ministry said in a statement.
There was a partial damage to vehicles and equipment in the attack, it said, adding that necessary measures were being taken regarding the incident.
Barzani said that that only reason Turkey launched air strikes in the region is the PKK.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — recognised as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US, and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people.
“Did the air strikes target the villages? No! The areas where the PKK is located are targeted. There is only one reason for what happened here. It is the PKK itself,” said the KRG prime minister.
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu discussed the issue with Barzani in a telephone conversation on Saturday evening.
Cavusoglu said on Sunday that the KRG government has assured Ankara that necessary security measures would be taken.
Barzani said that the people of the region have the right to organise demonstrations in a peaceful manner but the government would not allow provocative actions.
“It is not a solution to go to the Turkish base and attack. The people must come and talk to us. If there is no presence of the PKK there will be no air strikes," Barzani said, adding: "we have warned people not to enter some areas before, but our citizens have violated it. It is quite clear that the cause of the incidents here is the PKK.”