Barzani's statement on Turkish airstrikes contradicts Davutoğlu's remarks
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (L) answers a question during a joint press conference with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani following their meeting in the Iraqi Kurdish capital of Arbil, Nov. 21, 2014. AFP PhotoHas the Iraqi Kurdish leader expressed "solidarity" or "displeasure" during a phone conversation with Turkey's Prime Minister for Turkish airstrikes in northern Iraq? The two leaders have released contradictory statements.
Kurdish regional President Massud Barzani spoke to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on the telephone early July 25, as Turkish airstrikes bombarded the positions of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants in northern Iraq.
Davutoğlu told journalists during a press conference in Ankara that Barzani had expressed his "solidarity" with the operation when he spoke to him for about an hour.
"Mr. Barzani expressed his solidarity with Turkey again, noting that Turkey's operations against ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] and the PKK are both justified," Turkish PM said, adding the Kurdish leader also reiterated that he was ready to "contribute to all kinds of cooperation in the fight against terrorism."
Barzani, on the other hand, released a statement after Davutoğlu's speech, noting that he had "expressed his displeasure with the dangerous level the situation has reached" during the phone conversation.
"He requested that the issue not be escalated to that level because peace is the only way to solve problems and years of negotiations are better than one hour of war," Barzani said in his statement.
On July 24, the same day Turkey bombed ISIL in Syria for the first time, Turkish jets also struck positions held by the PKK in Iraq. Airstrikes continued on July 25.
According to a medical source, two civilians were wounded in the overnight strikes, which PKK officials said lasted several hours.
The group has long had camps in the mountains of Iraq’s Kurdish region, near the border with Turkey.
The PKK and Iraq’s Kurdish leadership have often been at odds in the past but both are involved in the fight against ISIL.