Turkey summons Iraqi envoy over its military operation in Kurdistan

A Turkish army helicopter flying over mountains in the province of Sirnak, near the Turkish-Iraqi border, south-eastern Turkey. (AFP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Turkish foreign ministry said on Thursday it had summoned the Iraqi charge d’affaires to convey discomfort with statements by Iraqi authorities about a Turkish military operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Turkish warplanes, helicopters and drones were part of an air and land operation in in the Kurdistan Region against PKK facilities ranging from camps to ammunition stores.

Iraq accused Turkey of violating its sovereignty and on Tuesday summoned the Turkish ambassador in Baghdad and delivered a “strongly worded” protest note to him, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Iraq also called on its neighbor to withdraw all of its forces from Iraqi territory.

In response, the Turkish foreign ministry also handed a diplomatic note to the Iraqi envoy on Thursday and accused the Iraqi government of making “unfounded allegations” over the military operation.

The military action was part of a long-running Turkish campaign in Iraq and Syria against PKK fighters and the People’s Protection Units (YPG), both regarded as terrorist groups by Ankara.

Turkey regularly launches airstrikes into the Kurdistan Region and has sent commandos to support its offensives.

The PKK took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which in the past was mainly focused in southeast Turkey.

(Esta Media Network/Reuters)

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