ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – In response to attacks the night before, Iraq's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Friday summoned and handed "a letter of protest" to Ankara's ambassador in Baghdad for his nation's "repeated aerial violations" within the borders of its southern neighbor.
On Thursday night, Turkish warplanes targeted Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) positions in areas disputed between Erbil and Baghdad.
Sources in the Mount Qarachokh area near Makhmour district said the bombardment occurred at around 9:30 p.m. local time. Others in SInjar (Shingal) said Turkish jets struck the villages of Shlu and Tal Ozeir.
"The ministry denounces what the Turkish planes have done in violating Iraqi airspace and targeting the areas of mount Sinjar and Makhmour north of" the country "that led to the loss of lives and property," read an MoFA statement.
On Friday, the Turkish military said in a Twitter post that eight PKK members had been "neutralized," a term Turkish authorities often use in statements to refer to enemy fighters killed, captured, or incapacitated.
PKK-affiliated media outlet ANF reported that the attack resulted in the deaths of four civilians living in a nearby camp for displaced persons in Makhmour.
Ankara, the US, and the EU label the PKK as a "terrorist organization." The group's fighters, now headquartered in the Qandil Mountains of the Kurdistan Region near Iraq's borders with Turkey and Iran, have been fighting an almost four-decade-long insurgency against Ankara which has resulted in over 40,000 casualties on both sides.
In it's Friday statement, Iraq's foreign ministry reiterated its longstanding position that Iraqi soil should not be used as a base or pathway to launch attacks on neighboring nations and also claimed that Ankara reaffirmed it would "maintain friendly relations between the two countries."
Editing by John J. Catherine