Baghdad censures Turkey air raid in northern Iraq
The Iraqi government has condemned a deadly air raid by Turkish warplanes in northern Iraq, which killed at least six peshmerga Kurdish fighters.
Government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi, in a statement on Tuesday, slammed Ankara for violating Iraq’s sovereignty.
“The Iraqi government condemns and rejects the strikes carried out by Turkish aircraft on Iraqi territory,” the statement read.
Regional authorities in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region have already denounced Turkey’s airstrike in Sinjar Mountains area late on Monday, which left five peshmerga soldiers and one police officer dead.
The Turkish army earlier said it had conducted a strike against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in an alleged bid to prevent the Kurdish forces from sending weapons to Turkey.
Turkey frequently launches airstrikes in the mountainous regions of northern Iraq without coordination with Baghdad. Ankara has also deployed troops into Iraq, sparking a bitter rift with Baghdad.
The troops are based in a town near the city of Mosul, which is currently the focus of a massive operation to recapture it from Takfiri Daesh terrorists.
Baghdad has repeatedly called on Ankara to withdraw its forces from the region, describing Turkey’s military presence in Iraq as a violation of its sovereignty.
Daesh terrorist shot dead 15 Iraqi civilians in Mosul
In a separate development, Hossameddin al-Abbar, a member of Iraq’s Nineveh provincial council, on Tuesday said Daesh terrorists, wearing police uniforms, had shot dead at least 15 civilians who had welcomed them in central Mosul.
“Daesh members, some of them wearing federal police uniforms, entered the Al-Maidan and Corniche areas of the Old City,” the official said. “They were driving black vehicles and posing as liberators from the Iraqi forces.”
“When some families welcomed them, they arrested several of them. They executed at least 15 other people,” Abbar added.
Meanwhile, Iraq’s Joint Operations Command (JOC) confirmed in a statement that militants under the guise of security forces entered the area on Monday to trick residents. “Daesh terrorist gangs committed a brutal crime yesterday morning in an area of Mosul’s Old City,” the JOC said in a statement.
The statement said the terrorists wanted to “confound civilians who expressed joy and welcomed them with chanting.”
The JOC said they killed women and children “to make it clear the area was still under enemy control.”
Iraqi army soldiers and Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters launched the offensive to retake Mosul last October and since then they have made sweeping gains against Takfiri elements.