Turkish commandos deployed to northern Iraq after Turkish ambassador summoned amid airstrikes
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Turkish special forces were deployed to Kurdistan Region’s Haftanin region in Duhok province, on Wednesday, according to Turkish Defense Ministry, after Turkish Ambassador to Iraq was summoned over the attack the day before.
Following artillery shelling of more than “150 targets” of the suspected PKK sites, the Turkish special forces, known as commandos, began “infiltration operation, into Haftanin region close to Duhok province’s Zakho city, according to Turkish security sources told state-run Anadolu Agency.
The targets were suspected PKK sites in the Haftanin region, in which they were shelled by “howitzers” and “rocket launchers”, added the sources.
Halkımızın ve hudutlarımızın güvenliğini tehdit eden PKK ve diğer terörist unsurları etkisiz hale getirmek maksadıyla; Hava Kuvvetleri, ateş destek vasıtaları, ATAK Helikopterleri, İHA ve SİHA’larla desteklenen Komandolarımız, hava hücum harekâtıyla bölgeye intikal etmişlerdir. pic.twitter.com/hDJfsncxet— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) June 16, 2020
On Monday, the Turkish warplanes carried out intensive airstrikes against alleged PKK targets in vast areas of Kurdistan Region, including Sinjar, Qandil, Karacak, Zap, Avasin-Basyan and Hakurk, as part of a military operation launched by Ankara called “Claw-Eagle”.
The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Tuesday, announced that it had summoned the ambassador of Turkey in Iraq and handed him a complaint memo condemning the violation of Iraqi sovereignty and its airspace after recent Turkish airstrikes in the Kurdistan Region.
Read More: Baghdad summons Turkish ambassador for violating Iraq's 'sovereignty' after airstrikes
The PKK, headquartered in the Kurdistan Region’s Qandil Mountains, has been fighting an almost four-decade-long insurgency against Ankara which has resulted in over 40,000 casualties on both sides.
On May 21, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), in the last five months, 77 percent of armed clashes and military operations involving Turkey and the PKK have taken place inside the Kurdistan Region, in northern Iraq, while only 23 percent of such incidents have occurred inside Turkey.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has repeatedly told Ankara to cease airstrikes within the Kurdistan Region and has been critical of the PKK for using its territory as a base from which to conduct operations within Turkey.