MESOPOTAMIA NEWS BACKGROUND : Turkey to continue anti-PKK operations in Iraqi Kurdistan: foreign ministry

SOUTH KURDISTAN (IRAQ) –  MESOP / CNN – ANKARA,— 2 July 2019 –  Turkey will continue cross-border operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraq, the Turkish foreign ministry said on Sunday, one day after Iraq called on Ankara to halt strikes in the border areas.Turkey resolutely continues cross-border operations against PKK in Iraq, told the country’s Foreign Ministry to Iraqi Charge d’Affaires on Sunday, according to a statement by the spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry Hami Aksoy .

Iraqi Charge d’Affaires Issam Muhammed was summoned to the ministry and informed that Turkey will resolutely continue cross-border operations against terrorists in Iraq, Aksoy said in a statement.Claims about civilian casualties in military operations against PKK in Iraq is unacceptable, the statement added.

According to the report, the Turkish ministry of foreign affairs conveyed that Turkey had found its Iraqi counterpart’s statement to be “unacceptable” because of that claim and the fact that the statement did not mention the role played by the PKK.The foreign ministry’s spokesperson contrasted it with the statement by the KDP-led Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG), which has close ties with Turkish government, specifically blamed the PKK for instigating airstrikes in Iraqi Kurdistan.

“While the KRG showed the PKK as the ones responsible for such operations, it is not suitable for Iraq, with whom our bilateral ties are on the rise thanks to high-level diplomatic visits, to come up with such a statement that does not mention the PKK even once,” Aksoy said according to Daily Sabah.“We care about Iraq’s sovereignty. That’s why terrorists should not be hosted in those territories,” he added.

He further said that the ministry told Iraq’s chargé d’affaires that Turkey’s cross-border operations “will continue with determination.”The Iraqi foreign ministry released a statement on Saturday condemning deadly Turkish airstrikes in the Kurdistan Region’s border area with Turkey.In its statement, the KRG expressed “deep concern” about the killing of civilians, but blamed the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for precipitating the situation.

On Saturday, a group of 52 Iraqi MPs submitted a request to the Iraqi parliament speaker to force the discussion of Turkish airstrikes in Iraqi territory “in the presence of Adel Abdul-Mahdi, Prime Minister of Iraq, the Interior Minister, and other relevant ministers,” Kawa Mohammed, a Kurdish MP from the Change Movement (Gorran) said.At least six people total were killed and ten others wounded in three separate incidents within the borders of the Kurdistan Region last week. The Turkish military routinely carries out airstrikes and artillery bombardments in the Kurdistan Region against suspected PKK targets, but their frequency has increased since Ankara launched “Operation Claw” in May, as have civilian casualties.

More via