Iraqi President Summons Turkish Ambassador as Outrage Grows Over Airstrikes on Iraqi Territory

Iraqi President Summons Turkish Ambassador as Outrage Grows Over Airstrikes on Iraqi Territory

In a strong response to recent Turkish airstrikes on Iraqi territory, Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid announced on Tuesday that he will summon Turkey's ambassador to hand him a formal letter of protest. The airstrikes targeted a military airport in Arbat, southeast of the city of Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region. Three members of the region's counterterrorism force were killed and three Kurdish Peshmerga forces were wounded in the attack.

President Rashid condemned the escalation of military attacks on Iraqi territory, specifically in the Kurdish region, calling them unjustified acts of aggression against innocent civilians and military and security headquarters. The targeted airport had recently undergone rehabilitation to facilitate the training of anti-terror units affiliated with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the major parties in the region. The PUK's leader, Bafel Talabani, labeled the attack as part of a series of conspiracies aimed at jeopardizing Kurdistan's security and called on the federal government to uphold its duties in safeguarding Iraq's territory and airspace.

The United States Ambassador to Iraq, Alia Romanowski, condemned the attack on the airport and reaffirmed support for Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity, highlighting their importance for Iraq's stability and security. The Kurdistan National Congress, an umbrella organization of Kurdish groups and parties, also issued a statement condemning the attack and demanding that attacks violating Iraqi sovereignty cease immediately. This is not the first time Turkey has launched airstrikes on Kurdish targets in both Iraq and Syria.

Turkey considers the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and allied Kurdish groups in Syria and Iraq as terrorist organizations. The Turkish military rarely comments on their strikes in Iraq, but they routinely conduct operations against PKK rear-bases in autonomous Kurdistan and the Sinjar district. These repeated attacks are seen as incompatible with the principle of good neighborliness between states and threaten Iraq's efforts to build positive relations with its neighbors. In addition to the recent airstrikes, an Iraqi committee announced on Tuesday that it had disarmed members of Iranian Kurdish dissident groups based in northern Iraq and relocated them from their bases near the Iranian border.

This move was part of an agreement between the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government to address Iranian concerns and prevent further Iranian airstrikes on Iraqi territory. Overall, the escalating Turkish airstrikes on Iraqi territory have sparked widespread condemnation and calls for respect of Iraq's sovereignty. The Iraqi government, along with Kurdish and international actors, are taking measures to address the ongoing security concerns and seek diplomatic solutions to prevent further escalations in the region.

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