Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraq on Thursday denounced Turkish airstrikes on anti-Ankara, Kurdish fighters’ locations in the north of the country that left a number of civilians dead.
In a statement, the foreign ministry spokesperson, Ahmed Mahgoub, said “The Iraqi foreign ministry denounces the continuation of aggressions and transgressions upon Iraqi borders by the Turkish forces, the latest of which was the strike that targeted the villages of Mawan, Qassan and Sarkinan in Soran, Erbil, which led to the martyrdom of a number of unarmed civilians”.
The statement said those “violations…do not serve the development of relations between both neighbor countries”. It added it “reaffirms its stance of rejecting the presence of any forces on Iraqi soil or any attempt to carry out military operations by any neighboring country”.
Earlier on Thursday, Kurdish media reported the death of four civilians in Turkish strikes on the borders with Iraq.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara on Monday his country would, at any time, launch operations in Iraq’s northern Sinjar region against PKK, a group designated by Ankara as a terrorist group for engaging in decades of armed confrontations with it. Ankara has regularly conducted airstrikes against PKK locations in northern Iraq.
Turkey has also been carrying out offensives since January against Kurdish factions in Afrin, northwest of Syria, which it believes are extension of the PKK.
While news reports recently said Iraq was giving indirect approval of Erdogan’s plans to launch offensives in the north, Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Wednesday Iraq categorically rejects the suggestion.