Rudaw

  In Rudaw 

Turkey does not have permission to deploy large numbers of troops to Iraq: MP

A member of the Iraqi parliament’s security committee slammed a “blatant Turkish incursion” into Iraq on the “excuse” of chasing down Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters, saying Ankara does not have Baghdad’s permission to deploy large numbers of troops within Iraq’s borders.

“There are security agreements with Turkey, but that does not mean Turkish forces can deploy to Iraq in large numbers,” Abbas Sarout, a member of the parliament’s security and defense committee, told Rudaw on Friday.

“The government should take all diplomatic means to limit the Turkish incursion and protect the sovereignty of Iraq,” he added.

Turkey’s defense ministry claimed on Friday it had “neutralized” 33 PKK fighters, including two leaders, and destroyed more than 50 suspected PKK targets in the first days of its Claw Eagle-2 operation, launched in the Kurdistan Region’s Mount Gara region in Duhok province on Wednesday, state-run Anadolu Agency reported. More than 40 aircraft of the Turkish Air Force have participated in the ongoing operation. Ankara uses the word “neutralized” to denote death, injury, or capture of its adversaries.

The PKK is an armed group fighting for increased rights for Turkey’s Kurdish minority and has bases in the Kurdistan Region’s Qandil mountains. Turkey regularly carries out airstrikes and ground operations against alleged positions belonging to the PKK in the Kurdistan Region. Civilians have been severely impacted by the operations, with many villagers displaced by the violence, and some killed.

In its new offensive in Duhok province, Turkey bombarded villages multiple times on Wednesday morning in the sub-districts of Chamanke and Dinarte, and Shaaban Khalil. At least three Turkish soldiers have been killed.

Ankara could expand its offensive. Turkey’s presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin, in comments to local Turkish TV on Thursday, did not rule out launching a military operation against the PKK in the Shingal district of Nineveh, claiming that Ankara has carried out operations against the armed group in Kurdistan Region, in coordination with Baghdad and Erbil.

Turkey has previously carried out airstrikes on alleged PKK targets in Shingal.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Thursday said that Turkey respects Iraq’s sovereignty and his country will continue military operations in coordination with “friends and allies.”

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the ruling party in Erbil that controls security forces in Duhok province, on Thursday denied accusations it was coordinating with Turkey against the PKK.