Iraqi Defense Minister visits Ankara
As Turkey intensifies its airstrikes in Iraq following last Sunday's devastating suicide bomb attack in Ankara, a significant diplomatic movement unfolds. Iraqi Defense Minister Thabit Mohammed Al-Abbas was in the Turkish capital, navigating the delicate waters of bilateral relations and regional security amid the echoes of bombings and retaliatory strikes.
In the aftermath of the suicide bombing in Ankara, which rattled the front of the Ministry of Interior Security Headquarters, the Turkish Armed Forces escalated their cross-border airstrikes in Iraq. Amidst this atmosphere of heightened military activity, Minister Al Abbas visited Ankara, invited by his Turkish counterpart, Minister of National Defense Yaşar Guler.
In their head-to-head and delegation meetings, the ministers embarked on discussions encompassing a spectrum of issues, prominently featuring regional military and defense industry cooperation. According to an official communique from Turkey's Ministry of National Defense, joint steps, especially in combatting terrorism and ensuring border security, were vital to strengthen collaboration.
This high-profile meeting came at a time of unfolding complexities. Turkish airstrikes, justified by Ankara as a necessary response to the terrorist attack, were condemned by Baghdad earlier in the week. Turkey's Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan pinpointed the origins of the attackers to Syria, declaring all PKK/YPG facilities in Iraq and Syria as "legitimate targets."
This statement coincided with the Ministry of National Defense's announcement of air strikes executed against terrorist strongholds in northern Iraq, marking another chapter in the ongoing geopolitical saga of the region. However, the Syrian Democratic Forces refuted claims that the Ankara attack was orchestrated by individuals crossing over from Syria, adding another layer of complexity to the unfolding narrative.