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HomeAfricaIraqi defence minister visits Ankara after Turkish moves on Kurdish area

Iraqi defence minister visits Ankara after Turkish moves on Kurdish area

Iraqi Defence Minister Thabet Al Abbasi travelled to Turkey on Wednesday for talks with his counterpart Yasar Guler following repeated Turkish air strikes on Iraq’s Kurdistan region in response to a bombing claimed by Kurdish militants.

The two ministers discussed possible joint steps on counter-terrorism and border security during their talks on Thursday, the Turkish defence ministry said.

Turkey carried out air strikes in northern Iraq on targets belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) after the group claimed responsibility for a bomb attack in Ankara on Sunday.

Two attackers detonated a bomb near government buildings, killing them both and wounding two police officers.

Turkey said its air force had destroyed 58 PKK targets in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region.

Iraq denounced the Turkish air strikes and Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid said he hoped to come to an agreement with Ankara to resolve the problem.

On Wednesday, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported the country’s MIT intelligence service had killed an alleged terrorist in Syria who plotted an attack on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue last year.

Nabo Heyri was part of a cell plotting terror attacks in Turkey, it said.

Turkey, along with many of its western allies, regards the PKK as a terrorist group and regularly carries out air strikes in northern Iraq, which has long been outside the direct control of the Baghdad government.

Turkey has also set up military bases on Iraqi territory to support its offensives.

The PKK has been fighting an insurgency in Turkey since 1984 and has bases in remote regions of Iraq and Syria.

Ankara considers the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, a crucial component of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces that helped defeat ISIS, as an offshoot of the PKK.

In 2019, Turkey launched an offensive against the YPG in north-eastern Syria, displacing hundreds of thousands of people in “Operation Peace Spring”.

Updated: October 05, 2023, 12:46 PM


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