Iraq approves Turkish military operations to purge joint borders

Turkish soldiers patrol a road near Cukurca in the Hakkari province, southeastern Turkey, near the Turkish-Iraqi border October 22, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer

Baghdad ( Iraq and Turkey have agreed that the latter can launch military operations on the joint borders presumably targeting anti-Turkish, Kurdish fighters.

Meeting with Iraqi Justice Minister Haider al-Zamili in Baghdad, Turkish ambassador to Iraq, Fateh Yildiz, said Ankara started to launch military operations on its borders with Iraq “to purge the borders from terrorist pockets in collaboration with the Iraqi government”, as quoted by a statement by the Iraqi justice ministry.

“Turkey is prepared to cooperate with the Iraqi government in the field of counter-terrorism and entrenching the sovereignty of both countries,” the statement quoted Yildiz saying.

On his side, the Iraqi minister said “Iraq has shown good intentions in Turkish demands related to the security on joint borders”, adding that “the political and security situation requires new agreements”.

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 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a group designated by Ankara as a terrorist group for engaging in decades of armed confrontations with it.

Turkey has also been carrying out offensives since January against Kurdish factions in Afrin, northwest of Syria.

It has regularly conducted airstrikes against PKK locations in norther Iraq.

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