First group of withdrawing PKK militants arrives in northern Iraq
The first group of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants that left Turkey arrived in the Harur area in nothern Iraq early May 14. AA PhotoThe first group of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants that left Turkey as part of a peace drive with Ankara arrived in the Harur area in nothern Iraq early this morning, Doğan news agency reported.
The group of 15 militants, including six women, left the southeastern province of Şırnak’s Beydüşşebap district a week ago, according to the reports.
“Our withdrawal came according to orders from the leader (Abdullah) Öcalan, as we want to open a way for peace through this withdrawal,” Jagar the leader of the group said, according to Agence France-Presse.
The militants, who were armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, light machineguns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, were greeted by the PKK members based in northern Iraq.
The PKK announced last month that it would withdraw its militants in Turkey to northern Iraq upon orders from it jailed leader Öcalan, who is serving life sentence on İmralı island. Öcalan’s messages were conveyed to the PKK executives with letters carried out by Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) lawmakers, who visited in İmralı with the government’s permission.
Iraq says entry of Kurd militants violates sovereignty
BAGHDAD - Agence France-Presse
The Iraqi government said on Tuesday that it rejects the entry of Kurdish militants from Turkey into its territory as a "flagrant violation" of its sovereignty that damages relations with Ankara.
"The Iraqi government confirms its rejection of the withdrawal and the presence of armed men of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) inside Iraqi territory, which is a flagrant violation of Iraq's sovereignty and independence," a statement from the cabinet said.
The move "causes severe damage to neighbourly relations between the two countries and their common interests," the statement said.
Iraq plans to present a complaint to the United Nations Security Council, so the body will "take the necessary decision to prevent the violation of Iraq's sovereignty," it added.