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Iraq slams Turkey bombing of northern village

5 February 2016 12:07



Baghdad has condemned the Turkish military’s recent bombardment of a village in northern Iraq and renewed calls on Ankara to withdraw all its forces from the Arab country.

Nasir Nouri, a Defense Ministry spokesman, slammed Ankara on Thursday for violating Iraq’s sovereignty, saying the Turkish forces should leave the Iraqi soil without any preconditions.

Earlier in the day, Turkish warplanes targeted a village in the northern province of Dohuk in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region as part of Ankara’s military operations against militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Turkey has deployed some 150 ground forces to the outskirts of Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s Nineveh province. Ankara claims its troops had been deployed in northern Iraq to train Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters against Daesh.

A view of the Bashiqa camp in the Iraqi province of Nineveh (Photo by Turkey’s Anadolu Agency)

Baghdad has, however, voiced anger over the deployment of Turkish forces to its territory and urged Ankara to pull the soldiers out.

Nouri said Baghdad has resorted to diplomacy to end the Turkish troop deployment and protect its national interests. He added that Iraq will try other options if political approaches fail.

Last month, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Turkish troops deployed to northern Iraq were causing a “lot of tension,” and that there was no reason for their deployment deep inside the Iraqi border.

Abadi also said Ankara viewed the Kurdish population within its border as a greater problem than the Daesh Takfiri group.

Ankara launched airstrikes against PKK positions in Iraq and Turkey as well as purported Daesh targets in Syria after a July 20, 2015 bomb attack attributed to Daesh terrorists left over 30 people dead in southeastern Turkey.

A shaky ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK that had stood since 2013 was declared null and void by the militants following the Turkish airstrikes against the group.

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