ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Foreign Ministry on Friday condemned the recent Turkish airstrikes on the Yezidi (Ezidi) region of Sinjar (Shingal) and denied there was any coordination between Ankara and Baghdad.
“The Iraqi Foreign Ministry condemns the Turkish airstrikes on the [Shingal] district near civilian-populated areas,” the spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ahmed Mahjoob, said in a statement.
The Ministry “categorically denies any coordination between Baghdad and Ankara in this regard.”
The statement also called on Turkey to withdraw its forces from Iraqi territories in the north, namely in Bashiqa in the Nineveh Province where troops were deployed in 2014 following the emergence of the Islamic State (IS).
The presence of Turkish troops “contradicts international conventions and the principles of mutual respect for sovereign states,” the Ministry argued.
The spokesperson also noted that ties and cooperation between Iraq and Turkey should be based on a “unified vision” toward “eliminating terrorism in all its forms” and preserve the lives of civilians,” ensuring they are “kept away from areas of tension.”
On Wednesday, Turkish warplanes shelled a “PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] convoy,” west of Baraa village in Shingal located close to the border with Syria. The strikes killed and wounded several people, including a senior commander of a PKK-affiliated Ezidi group, Ismail Ozden, also known as Zeki Shingali.
The strikes came after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In a joint press conference this week, Abadi reportedly expressed his support Ankara’s fight against terror, which “does not differentiate between the PKK and IS.”
Turkey, the EU, the US, and NATO considers the PKK a ‘terrorist’ organization. Over the past few years, Ankara has been carrying out airstrike campaigns on the group’s bases in the mountainous areas between the Kurdistan Region, Turkey, and Iran.
On Friday, Turkish warplanes heavily bombarded the Qandil Mountains, located near the border, believed to be targeting the PKK bases in the area.
Editing by Nadia Riva