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POLITICS > Iraq PM warns Turkey on territory violations

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Iraqi PM al -Maliki. REUTERS photo

Iraqi PM al -Maliki. REUTERS photo

The Iraqi government yesterday warned Turkey against making “any violations” of its territory or airspace, while urging its citizens in Syria to return home because of “increasing attacks” against them.
The Iraqi government has instructed the Foreign Ministry to register a complaint at the U.N. Security Council.

“We are warning Turkey against any violations or breakdowns of the airspace and land of Iraq,” government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement. “The Cabinet has directed the Foreign Ministry to file a complaint with the Security Council.”

Iraq had not delivered any complaint against Turkey in either Ankara or Baghdad by late yesterday, Turkish diplomatic sources told Hürriyet Daily News. In recent months Turkish jets have bombed northern Iraq, targeting militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Al-Dabbagh’s remarks were the latest in a cooling of ties between Iraq and Turkey, with Baghdad also warning Ankara last weekend to stop accepting “illegal” transfers of crude oil from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) or risk damaging bilateral ties.

The statement followed al-Maliki’s remarks earlier in the day in which he issued a warning to his neighbors for what he said are “frequent violations of Iraqi airspace,” adding that his administration will not remain silent in the face of these violations.

Al-Dabbagh’s statements also came after three Turkish passenger planes were stranded at Arbil International Airport due to a technical failure in the country’s radar system. Two Turkish Airlines (THY) planes and a Pegasus Airlines flight were grounded at Arbil’s airport for eight hours as they waited for permission to take off.

Ties between Iraq and Turkey, which had been improving, have cooled considerably since December, particularly over Turkey’s refusal to extradite Iraq’s fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who is currently on trial in absentia on charges he ran a death squad. Al-Hashemi is residing in Istanbul. The extradition spat added to a deterioration of ties between the two countries, with Iraq summoning Ankara’s ambassador to Baghdad twice in a single month to complain about various incidents.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government has urged all of its citizens living in Syria to return home immediately to escape the escalating civil war there.

Al-Dabbagh said Baghdad called on the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and the opposition forces seeking to overthrow him to resist harming Iraqis who may be caught in the crossfire.

“They are not part of the conflict going on in Syria now,” al-Dabbagh said in a statement. He cited a “rise in killings and assaults on Iraqis residing in Syria.” The U.N. estimated there were 1 million Iraqi refugees in Syria and 3,000 more seeking asylum as of January.

The Iraqi government will help Iraqis return from Syria, al-Dabbagh said, although he did not explain how. Thousands of Iraqis fled to Syria to escape widespread sectarian fighting during the worst of the violence in their homeland between 2005 and 2007. Now, the traffic is heading the other way, with Iraqis and Syrian refugees heading east, away from the conflict the International Red Cross just days ago deemed a civil war.

July/18/2012

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mara mcglothin

7/18/2012 8:07:49 PM

LION Iran has always been itching to get into Iraq. That is nothing new and nothing the US created. Turkey sat by and let Sadaam's brother commit chemical genocide against the Kurds in N Iraq on more than one occasion. It has nothing to do with puppet states! The muslim demographic in general is the problem. No one can get along, forget the Chrisitans and other religions. Muslims continue to fight amongst themselves. Nothing new.

american american

7/18/2012 6:45:25 PM

complain that syria doesn't warn you, complain that iraq does...

The Lion

7/18/2012 6:27:12 PM

Michael Johnson, it's both at the same time. The kurdish terrorist regime in the North is the puppet state of the US. When the US invaded without forethought of the Shi'ite Arab demographic, they accidentally unleashed Iranian influence. So the rest of the country is under the influence of the Iranian/Russian axis.

Michael Johnson

7/18/2012 7:42:06 AM

@The Lion: make up your mind, is it a puppet of the U.S., or Iran? It can't be both. As usual, you rant without any facts.

Proud Turk

7/18/2012 12:33:06 AM

If Iraq wants us to keep out of the country, it should keep the PKK contained within its borders, otherwise it's business as usual. Our artillery will shell the hell out of Kandil mountain and our 'planes will attack all legitimate targets. Of course Iraqi's could try to stop us if they dare.

The Lion

7/18/2012 12:21:32 AM

We're warning the US/Iranian puppet state of Iraq against any violations of land of Turkiye.
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