Iraqi PM: We won't allow our soil to be used for attacks on Turkey
Iraqi prime minister Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani said on Tuesday after a meeting in Ankara with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Iraq will not allow its soil to be used for attacks on neighboring Turkey.
Attending a joint press conference with Erdogan, Sudani said:
"Iraq is committed to not allowing its land to be used as a launchpad for attacks against Turkey (...) The security of the region is interconnected and inseparable. Through intelligence cooperation and exchange of information we will definitely solve these security issues without use of violence, in a manner that preserves the security and sovereignty of Iraq which we wish to achieve.”
The relations between the two countries were strained in July when nine Iraqi civilians were killed by a shelling in Duhok province, blamed on the Turkish army. Ankara denied involvement in the incident but Baghdad took the issue to the UN Security Council and called on Ankara to withdraw troops from Iraq.
Turkey has been conducting military campaigns in Iraqi soil for many years against Kurdish fighters affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and has numerous military posts scattered across the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).
“Our expectation from our Iraqi brethren is that they will designate the PKK as a terror group and clear their lands of this bloodthirsty terrorist organization," Erdogan said at the press conference.