Iraq: Turkey's denial of responsibility for Duhok attack a "black joke"

Iraq: Turkey's denial of responsibility for Duhok attack a "black joke"
Update: 22 July 2022 21:00
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Foreign ministry in Iraq has handed the Turkish Ambassador a protest letter over the attack in Zakho, saying it is "the most serious in a series of Turkish attacks in Iraq."

Iraq's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday that Turkey's denial of responsibility for the attack in Duhok that killed nine civilians is a "black joke," and that the Turkish Ambassador in Baghdad was summoned to be handed a protest letter.

"The ministry is now taking the maximum possible procedural rules within the diplomatic work, and we issued a statement yesterday condemning the attack in the strongest terms and a sinful and blatant pledge, and today we handed the Turkish ambassador, Ali Riza Gunay, a strong protest note," foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Al-Sahaf said.

"Today, Iraq's permanent representation was approached in New York, and it will be possible to request the Security Council to hold an emergency session to discuss the Turkish aggression and to issue a resolution that guarantees Iraq's safety and security."

He added:

"The latest attack is the most serious in a series of Turkish attacks in Iraq, and it does not have any coordination with the Iraqi government, and Ankara claims that it is pursuing groups and individuals affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party to neutralize them (...) What Turkey says that there is an agreement that allows it to penetrate Iraq is incorrect, as there is only a record of a meeting that Ankara concluded with the previous regime and the record, however, obliges it to request the permission of the Iraqi government and that the incursion does not exceed 5 km, and they did not abide by the same record."

The spokesperson went on to comment on Turkey's denial of responsibility for the attack:

"The Iraqi state's narrative confirms that Ankara is behind the attack, which is not the first and comes in a series of continuous attacks. Turkey's denial of responsibility is a black joke that Iraqi diplomacy will not accept."

Iraqi Prime Minister: 'We'll continue to defend our country'

İraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi chaired a meeting Thursday that included senior government officials at the Ministry of Defense.

He said in a statement after the meeting:

"We are united and continue to defend our country, and that the army's mission is to be a deterrent to any attempt to compromise the integrity of Iraq's land."

Turkey urges NATO allies to "support its fight against terror groups"

Despite Iraqi officials' statements accusing Turkey over the deadly attack in Zakho, Turkey has not yet been directly accused or condemned by foreign governments or the United Nations in their protests over the incident.

Turkish National Security Council said after a meeting Thursday that it "urges its NATO allies to give their support in its fight against terrorist organizations, including the PKK and Fetullah Terrorist Organization, until they are completely eliminated."