Iraq cancels Turkish visit over deadly drone strike

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Iraqi officials labelled the strike a 'blatant Turkish drone attack'

Aug 12, 2020

August 12, 2020

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Iraqi officials said on Tuesday they were cancelling a visit by Turkey's defence minister and summoning the country's ambassador after a Turkish drone killed two high-ranking Iraqi officers.

The Turkish envoy will be given "a letter of protest with strong words" categorically rejecting aggression from Ankara, Iraq's foreign ministry said.

Turkey launched an offensive in mid-June in northern Iraq against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which Ankara regards as a terrorist organisation.

Iraqi officials labelled the strike a "blatant Turkish drone attack" in the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, where Ankara has for weeks been raiding militant positions.

Two border guard battalion commanders and the driver of their vehicle were killed, the army said in a statement, marking the first Iraqi troop deaths since Turkey launched the cross-border operation in mid-June against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels.

Iraq's foreign ministry – which had already summoned the Turkish envoy twice over the military action on its soil – said the ambassador would this time be given "a letter of protest with strong words" rejecting such aggression.

The ministry also confirmed the Turkish defence minister would no longer be welcomed on Thursday.

Updated: August 12, 2020 09:07 AM

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