Erbil (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi Kurdistan Region will not allow its soil to be used for attacking neighbors, the region’s Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, said in a press conference on Wednesday as Turkey eyes offensives against Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq.
“Prior to asking why Turkey has come inside Kurdistan Region, we have to ask what is the reason? The reason is PKK,” Kurdish network Rudaw quoted Barzani Saying, referring to the Kurdistan Workers Party, the group that has engaged in decades of armed confrontations against Turkey.
“The KRG’s principle is that the soil of Kurdistan Region should not be used to attack neighbouring countries, such as Iran, Turkey, Syria and elsewhere,” Barzani added.
Kurdish authorities have recently called upon PKK fighters to keep their deployments away from civilian areas in the region as Turkey continues to carry out airstrikes against the group’s members there.
PKK recently announced it was pulling out from Iraq’s northern region of Sinjar, having become assured that Islamic State extremists were no longer a threat to the Kurdish-speaking Yazidi minority there.
PKK has been active in Sinjar since 2014, when Islamic State militants proclaimed a self-styled “caliphate” in Iraq and neighboring Syria.
Turkey brands PKK fighters as terrorists, and has launched regular airstrikes on their locations in northern Iraq. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said recently that Turkey was planning to launch an offensive against the group in Sinjar, a step which Iraqi officials rejected officially.