Iraq Summons Turkish Envoy Over Airstrike Deaths

Strikes allegedly conducted in Iraqi airspace

Image Credits: Anadolu Agency / Contributor / Getty.

Turkey hasn’t yet commented on the accusations leveled by Iraqi Foreign Ministry on 14 December. According to earlier reports, the Turkish air force killed 8 members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the airstrike.

Iraqi Foreign Ministry has summoned Turkey’s ambassador Fatih Yildiz to protest against an alleged violation of the country’s airspace by a Turkish aircraft and conducting airstrikes on several sites in northern Iraq. The strikes, which allegedly targeted Kurdish militia positions, led to a “loss of life and property”, according to an official statement by the ministry.

“Such acts violate Iraq’s sovereignty and security of citizens and are unacceptable on all levels, contrary to the principles of good-neighborliness that bind together the two countries”, statement said.

Earlier, media reported that Turkish forces had conducted airstrikes on PKK positions in Iraqi Kurdistan on 14 December, which resulted in the death of 8 members of the group, considered to be a terrorist organization by Ankara. Turkey hasn’t commented on the reports of airstrikes or violations of Iraq’s airspace.

Turkey has been fighting the PKK since the 1980s, when the group first demanded of autonomy for Kurdish-populated territories. The two sides reached a ceasefire in 2013 to fight the threat of Daesh, but it was terminated in 2015, when the PKK accused Ankara of bombing its positions in Iraq, along with those of Daesh. Turkey has also been fighting branches of the PKK in Afrin in Syria, launching a military intervention in the country in January, 2018.