Turkey summons Iraqi diplomat over Baghdad’s statements on anti-terror op
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has summoned the chargé d’affaires of the Iraqi Embassy in Ankara following Bahgdad’s strong protests against Turkey’s anti-terror operation in northern Iraq.
“Our discomfort with the statements by Iraqi authorities regarding Operation Claw-Lock the Turkish Armed Forces launched against terrorist targets in the north of Iraq on April 18, 2022, and the unfounded allegations leveled within this framework as well as our expectations from Iraq have been conveyed to the charge d’affaires of the Iraqi Embassy in Ankara, who was summoned to our ministry today [April 21], and a diplomatic note on our views on this issue has been delivered,” read a statement issued by Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic late April 21.
The Turkish Armed Forces launched a large scale cross border operation dubbeb Operation Claw-Lock in northern Iraq, where the PKK has its hideouts and other facilities. It was focused on the Zap region from where the PKK terrorists infiltrate into Turkey for terrorist attacks.
“The PKK terrorist organization has been targeting our country from its hideouts in northern Iraq for nearly 40 years. Yet, unfortunately, no response has been received from the Iraqi authorities to our persistent requests to end the existence of this terrorist organization, which also poses a threat to the sovereignty and stability of Iraq,” Bilgic recalled.
Turkey prefers the elimination of presence of PKK in Iraq by the Iraqi security forces, Bilgic said, noting that the PKK is a terrorist organization, which is recognized as such by numerous countries and international organizations.
The spokesman underlined that Turkey is always ready to closely cooperate with Iraq in fighting PKK on the basis of the joint interests of the two neighboring states, stressing: “However, unless concrete and effective steps are taken by Iraqi authorities to this end and the national security threat against our country directed by the PKK terrorist organization from Iraqi territory continues, we will continue to take the necessary measures on the basis of the right of self-defense emanating from Article 51 of the U.N. Charter.”