Türkiye calls on Iraq to cooperate in revealing truth over N Iraq attack
Türkiye has called on the Iraqi government to refrain from making statements under the influence of the PKK terror organization following a deadly attack that killed eight civilians in the Zakho province of northern Iraq and to cooperate to reveal the truth over the incident.
“We have learned with deep sorrow that, according to preliminary reports, eight people lost their lives and 23 people were injured in an attack carried out today [July 20] at a streamside in the Zakho district of Iraq’s Duhok province,” read a statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
“We wish Allah’s mercy upon those who lost their lives, extend our condolences to the relatives of the deceased, as well as to the friendly and brotherly people and the Government of Iraq, and wish a speedy recovery to the injured in this sad event,” it added.
The ministry’s statement came after Iraqi authorities blamed Türkiye for the deadly attack.
“Türkiye is against all kinds of attacks targeting civilians. Türkiye carries out its fight against terrorism in accordance with international law, with utmost sensitivity to the protection of civilians, civilian infrastructure, historical and cultural property and the environment,” read the ministry’s statement.
“It is considered that such attacks which aim at innocent civilians and are assessed to be organized by the terrorist organization, target our country’s just and determined stance in the fight against terrorism,” it noted, referring to the PKK.
The PKK has its main headquarters and training camps in northern Iraq from where they have been launching attacks against Türkiye and infiltrating into the country for terrorist activities. Türkiye has recently intensified its anti-terror campaign in the northern Iraq.
The ministry offered cooperation to the Iraqi government stressing “Türkiye is ready to take all steps to reveal the truth.”
However, it also said: “We invite Iraqi government officials not to make statements under the influence of the rhetoric and propaganda of the treacherous terrorist organization and to cooperate in bringing the real perpetrators of this tragic incident to light.”
No attacks on civilians: FM
In the meantime, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu rejected the claims by the Iraqi officials over the attack on civilians in Zakho.
“According to the information we got from the Turkish Armed Forces, there has not been any attack on civilians,” Çavuşoğlu said in an interview with TRT on July 21.
Urging the Iraqi authorities not to make statements under the influence of the terror organization, Çavuşoğlu said: “We reject the accusation. We also reject the statements made by authorized officials or unauthorized ones against Türkiye.”
The minister recalled Türkiye’s calls for cooperation in revealing the truth behind this sad incident and expressed his condolences to the Iraqi people. He also said Türkiye proposed to bring all those injured to Türkiye for treatment.
“The whole world knows that Türkiye’s anti-terror fight never targets civilians. We pursue our anti-terror fight in accordance with international law,” he underlined.