Iraq wants Turkey to co-operate over Kurds

Iraq’s foreign minister has called on Ankara to co-ordinate with Baghdad in its military campaign against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions in northern Iraq following accusations that Turkish forces crossed the border into Iraq last week.

Iraq has been mostly silent about Turkish airstrikes against the Kurdish militants which began in July and focus mainly on targets in the mountainous area of northern Iraq near borders with Turkey and Iran.

Ibrahim al-Jaafari said on Saturday he had summoned the Turkish ambassador last week to object to what he called a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

A spokesman for the Turkish foreign ministry was not available for comment.

Jaafari said that Ankara has not co-ordinated with Iraq in the campaign, which Baghdad claims included an incursion into Iraq last week by Turkish special forces in pursuit of PKK militants.

“We are for the security of Turkey. Turkey has the right to defend itself,” he said ahead of an Arab League conference in Cairo. “But there must be co-ordination on the ground with the Iraqi government and Iraqi armed forces.”

Iraq’s border with Turkey is within the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

Reuters


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