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Turkey rejects finishing up lethal strikes in northern Iraq

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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s international minister on Thursday rejected accusations that the nation’s army carried out lethal artillery strikes in opposition to vacationers in northern Iraq, because the Iraqi households of these killed laid their lifeless to relaxation.

In an in an interview with Turkish state broadcaster TRT, Mevlut Cavusoglu stated Turkey was prepared to cooperate with Iraqi authorities to make clear the “treacherous assault.”

“In response to the knowledge we acquired from the Turkish Armed Forces, we didn’t conduct any assault in opposition to civilians,” Cavusoglu stated. “Our battle in Iraq has at all times been in opposition to the (banned Kurdistan Staff Get together) PKK terrorist group.”

“We reject the accusations which were leveled in opposition to Turkey earlier than the smoke display has been lifted,” Cavusoglu stated, including that Turkey believed the assault was geared toward stopping Turkish army operations within the area.

“Iraqi authorities should not fall into this entice,” he stated.

Caskets carrying the our bodies of these killed in artillery strikes on Wednesday have been transported from the semi-autonomous Kurdish-run northern area to the capital Baghdad for burial. At the least 4 artillery shells struck the resort space of Barakh within the Zakho district within the Kurdish area.

Iraq’s army stated eight folks have been killed within the assault, however 9 caskets have been loaded onto the army aircraft on Thursday. Over 20 folks have been wounded.

The area’s President Nechirvan Barzani laid a wreath over one casket and helped carry it on board the army aircraft. International Minister Fuad Hussein was additionally current.

In Baghdad, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi acquired the lifeless on the airport and met with the households of these killed, in line with a press release from his workplace. He provided his condolences and promised to observe up on their situation and of the wounded, offering them with medical care.

The entire casualties have been Iraqi residents. A small baby was among the many victims.

The incident is testing ties between Iraq and Turkey — two international locations that share deep financial ties however are divided over safety points associated to Kurdish insurgents working in Iraq, oil buying and selling with the Kurdish area and water-sharing.

The Turkish Embassy in Iraq introduced on its Fb web page that visa appointments had been cancelled for the day. A small protest broke out within the former headquarters of the Turkish mission within the Baghdad neighborhood of Waziriah.

The Iraqi authorities, which condemned the assault as “flagrant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty,” convened an emergency nationwide safety assembly, summoned Turkey’s ambassador to Baghdad and ordered a pause in dispatching a brand new Iraqi ambassador to Ankara.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi accused Turkey of ignoring “Iraq’s steady calls for to chorus from army violations in opposition to Iraqi territory and the lives of its folks.”

Cavusoglu stated Turkey had provided to carry the wounded to Turkey for therapy.

Turkey usually carries out airstrikes into northern Iraq and has despatched commandos to help its offensives focusing on components of the outlawed Kurdistan Employee’s Get together or PKK.

Wednesday’s assault marked the primary time that vacationers had been killed within the frequent assaults by Turkey within the space, the officers stated. Turkish strikes within the space are frequent and have killed civilians, principally native villagers, there earlier than.

In April, Turkey launched its newest offensive, named Operation Claw Lock, in elements of northern Iraq – a part of a collection of cross-border operations began in 2019 to fight the outlawed PKK who’re primarily based within the mountainous areas of northern Iraq.

The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, america and the European Union, and has led an insurgency in southeast Turkey since 1984 which has killed tens of hundreds of individuals.

Ankara has pressed Baghdad to root out PKK components from the northern area. Iraq, in flip, has stated Turkey’s ongoing assaults are in breach of its sovereignty.



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