Iraq cancels visit of Turkish minister, summons Turkish envoy over deadly airstrike

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Baghdad – The Iraqi Foreign Ministry on Wednesday cancelled a planned visit by the Turkish defence minister to Baghdad and summoned the Turkish ambassador to Iraq following a Turkish airstrike.

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Report says the airstrike kills two Iraqi officers and one soldier in Iraq’s northern semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.

A statement by the ministry said that it “announces the cancellation of the Turkish Defence Minister’s visit to Iraq, slated for Thursday.”

It also said the ministry “will summon the Turkish ambassador, Fatih Yildiz, to hand him a strongly worded letter of protest, and to express Iraq’s rejection to his country’s attacks and violations.”

“Iraq categorically rejects, and strongly condemns the blatant attack carried out by a Turkish drone inside Iraqi territories in Sidekan area in Erbil province,’’ the statement said.

According to the statement, Iraq also threatened to reconsider working with Turkey after it failed to respond to Iraq’s demands to stop violating its sovereignty and to withdraw Turkish forces from their bases inside the Kurdish region.

On Tuesday, the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said that a Turkish drone bombed a military vehicle of border guards in the Sidekan area in Kurdistan region, killing the commander of the 2nd border guard brigade, commander of the brigade’s 3rd regiment, and the driver.

Turkish forces frequently carry out ground operations, airstrikes and artillery bombardments against the positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in northern Iraq, especially the Qandil Mountains, the main PKK base.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.


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