Iraq warns Turkey it could file UN complaint against incursion in north

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Iraq said on Friday it might file an official complaint to the UN Security Council if Turkey does not halt its military operations against Kurdish fighters in the north.

"We reject any unilateral action that would harm our sovereignty. We started with a statement of condemnation and may resort to gathering support from the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation and could file a complaint to the UNSC,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Al Sahaf said in a statement.

The “unilateral” action taken by Turkey will not “enhance security nor will it result in joint efforts to combat terrorism”, Mr Al Sahaf said.

Baghdad has requested an emergency meeting of the Arab League meeting to discuss the issue, he said.

Iraq has repeatedly said that the presence of Turkish troops in the country was a "blatant breach of the UN charter" and was not authorised by the government.

“We are seeking to reach a political solution with Turkey to stop its unilateral military operations on Iraqi soil,” Mr Al Sahaf said.

The spokesman confirmed that the ministry is also evaluating trade and commercial deals with Turkey in bid to halt its military operations.

Ankara launched a military operation in northern Iraq against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) last month in response to what it said was an increase in militant attacks on Turkish army bases along the border between the countries.

Iraqi President Barham Salih's office said the Turkish operations resulted in the death of “unarmed civilians” since the operations started.

Iraq's foreign ministry summoned the Turkish ambassador, Fatih Yildiz, twice over the operation.

Turkey has been fighting against the PKK for decades along its borders with Syria and Iraq.

The PKK has long used the rugged terrain of northern Iraq as a rear base to stage attacks in Turkey, which in turn set up military positions inside Iraqi territory to fight them.

Iraqi kurds, some of them wearing protective masks due to Covid-19, march during a demonstration to denounce the Turkish assault in northern Iraq, in Sulaimaniyah. AFP

Kurdish riot police stand guard during a demonstration to denounce the Turkish assault in northern Iraq. AFP

An Iraqi kurdish woman confronts riot police as she takes part in a demonstration to denounce the Turkish assault in northern Iraq. AFP

Turkey launched a rare ground assault into northern Iraq on June 17, deploying special forces against rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which is blacklisted by Ankara as a "terrorist" group. AFP

Baghdad demanded Ankara immediately halt its assault in northern Iraq, where Turkish special forces and helicopters have been targeting Kurdish rebel hideouts. AFP

Iraqi kurds march during a demonstration to denounce the Turkish assault in northern Iraq, in Sulaimaniyah city, in the Kurdish autonomous region of northern Iraq. AFP

A Turkish army helicopter flies over mountains in the province of Sirnak, near the Turkish-Iraqi border, south-eastern Turkey. AFP file  

Updated: July 3, 2020 04:47 PM

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