Iraq summons Turkish ambassador over cross-border military attacks

Iraq summons Turkish ambassador over cross-border military attacks
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Iraqi FM Spokesperson Ahmed al-Sahhaf said the attacks distract the counter-terrorism efforts on regional level

Iraq on Thursday summoned Turkish and Iranian ambassadors in Baghdad over recent cross-border attacks the two countries conducting on its territory.

“These attacks by both Turkey and Iran distract the efforts of countering terrorism on regional level,” Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed al-Sahhaf told Associated Press (AP).

The ministry also notified the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) regarding the border “violations”, AP said.

Turkey on late Saturday has launched an aerial offensive into Northern Iraq and Syria targeting Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliate Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in response to a bomb attack that rocked Istanbul, killing six people on Nov.13. Accusing PKK and YPG over the attack, Ankara has been since conducting airstrikes targeting PKK and YPG bases in the region. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said the aerial campaign is just the beginning and Turkey will also launch a ground operation when convenient.

Iran on the other hand, has recently increased its cross-border operations into Northern Iraq, targeting Iranian-Kurdish opposition groups.

The attacks “will raise the alert level and tension, and it will affect the nature of relations between Iran and Iraq, and Turkey and Iraq,” al-Sahhaf said.

Iraq’s National Security Council on Wednesday agreed to deploy additional troops on its Turkish and Iranian border to strengthen its territorial integrity against the two countries’ military attacks.

The Iraqi government also decided to act in cooperation with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to “unify the national effort to protect the Iraqi borders.”

On Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister al-Sudani met with Nechirvan Barzani, the president of the KRG in Baghdad, pointing out the importance of cooperation against violations on Iraq’s sovereignty, Rudaw English said.