KRG Deputy PM meets with Turkish Intelligence Chief to discuss reopening of airspace
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Deputy Prime Minister Kubad Talabani met with Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Chief Hakan Fidan in Ankara, discussing the reopening of Turkish airspace for flights to Sulaymaniyah International Airport and Turkey's concerns about alleged relations between the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF,) amidst tensions following an airstrike near the airport targeting SDF leader Mazloum Abdi, Rudaw reported.
The visit of Talabani follows a meeting with MIT Deputy Chief Mutlu Tuka in Baghdad the previous day. The talks in Baghdad had focused on the issue of reopening Turkish airspace for flights using Sulaymaniyah International Airport.
During the meeting, Hakan Fidan expressed Turkey's concerns about the PUK's relations with the SDF and emphasized that ending these relationships is necessary for the normalization of relations between Ankara and Sulaymaniyah.
On April 7, an airstrike took place near Sulaymaniyah International Airport, targeting the General Commander of the SDF, Mazloum Abdi.
Joe Buccino, the spokesperson for the US Central Command (CENTCOM), confirmed that there were also US soldiers in the targeted convoy.
Abdi also said "The Turkish state is not targeting me for the first time, and I know that this will not be the last.
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier announced that Turkish airspace was closed for flights to Sulaymaniyah International Airport until July 3. The decision was justified by citing the activities of the PKK in Sulaymaniyah.
Turkish Airlines (THY), which had daily flights to Sulaymaniyah, had announced on April 3 that all flights to Sulaymaniyah Airport were suspended.