Ankara (Iraqinews.com) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced the start of a military operation in Sinjar area in northern Iraq against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters.
Erdogan made the remarks during a rally Sunday in Trabzon province in northeastern Turkey, ahead of a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party, according to the London-based Alquds Alarabi Newspaper.
“We said we would go into Sinjar. Now operations have begun there. The fight is internal and external,” Erdogan said.
Meanwhile, the Joint Operations Command in Iraq said that no military operations were launched in Sinjar or its vicinity, stressing that Iraqi forces will not “stand idly by” while foreign troops are invading their country.
“The security situation in Nineveh, Sinjar and border areas is under the control of Iraqi forces,” the command said in a statement, denying news that foreign troops crossed Iraqi borders into these areas.
In addition, the command stressed that the Federal government “has not informed the Defense Ministry of any Turkish military operations in Sinjar.”
Last week, Erdogan had vowed a strong action against the Kurdistan Workers Party to deter it from creating a new base in Sinjar, stressing that Turkish forces would attack if necessary.
Sources in northern Iraq said on Friday the PKK would withdraw from Sinjar following the Turkish threat to attack the area. The PKK is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.