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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Iraq prepares dossier of Turkish attacks after a brutal bombing kills 8 tourists in Kurdistan

Iraq observed Thursday as a national day of mourning for the “martyrs” who were killed as a result of the “brutal Turkish bombing” of a mountain resort in Kurdistan’s Dohuk province on Wednesday. The attack resulted in the death of eight tourists and had wounded more than two dozen people.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who has promised to hold the aggressors “accountable”, personally received the bodies of the victims at the Baghdad International Airport on Thursday.

“Once again, the Turkish Forces committed an explicit and blatant violation of the sovereignty of Iraq, and the lives and security of Iraq citizens,” Al-Kadhimi had said in a statement hours after the attack.

“This brutal attack underscored the fact that Turkey ignored Iraq’s continuous demands to refrain from military violation against Iraqi territory and the lives of its people,” he had added.

Chairing an urgent meeting of his Ministerial Council for National Security to “discuss the repercussions” on Wednesday, Al-Kadhimi, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the country’s armed forces, had asserted that Iraq reserves its full right to respond to the attacks.

Agreeing to a range of measures, the former Intelligence chief directed his Foreign Ministry to prepare a complete dossier of the continuous Turkish attacks on Iraqi sovereignty and to submit an urgent complaint in this regard to the UN Security Council.

Besides summoning the Turkish Ambassador to Iraq to relay the condemnation, the Council also decided to recall the Iraqi Charge d’Affairs from Ankara for consultation and suspend ongoing procedures for appointing a new Iraqi Ambassador to Turkey.

Iraq is also demanding that Turkey submits a formal apology and withdraws its military forces from its territories.

While Turkey insists that Kurdish separatist groups, primarily active in a part of northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey, pose a threat to its national security, it denied any involvement in the Dohuk attacks.

Ankara on Wednesday also urged the Iraqi government officials not to make statements “under the influence of the rhetoric and propaganda”, stating that it is against all kinds of attacks targeting civilians.

“Turkey carries out its fight against terrorism in accordance with international law, with utmost sensitivity to the protection of civilians, civilian infrastructure, historical and cultural property, and the environment,” the country’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Interestingly, during a bilateral meeting with the Iraqi Prime Minister in Jeddah over the weekend, US President Joe Biden commended “the significant diplomatic efforts” led by Al-Kadhimi to foster “a more stable, prosperous, and interconnected” region.

Calling the killing of civilians in Dohuk “unacceptable”, the US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said on Wednesday that Washington maintains its “strong support for Iraq’s sovereignty and its security, stability, and prosperity, including that of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region”.

On the other hand, as the geopolitical situation in the region continues to rapidly change, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Tuesday that Ankara’s fight against terrorist organizations “will continue permanently” without caring where they operate and who supports them.

“We see no difference between terrorist organizations such as DAESH or the PKK/PYD/YPG. We reject the rationale of using one as a proxy to fight the other,” Erdogan said following the 7th Tripartite Summit in the Astana Format in Tehran with Russian Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi sitting by his side.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline)

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