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High-level delegation from Baghdad arrives in Kurdistan to discuss Turkish incursion

Highlevel delegation from Baghdad arrives in Kurdistan to discuss Turkish incursion
High-level delegation from Baghdad arrives in Kurdistan to discuss Turkish incursion

2024-07-11 13:00:05 - Source: Shafaq News

Shafaq News/ A high-level delegation from Baghdad, led by National Security Advisor Qasim al-Araji, arrived in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, to hold discussions with Kurdish leaders regarding the recent Turkish military incursion in Duhok governorate.

A political source informed Shafaq News Agency that Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani directed the delegation's visit to assess the latest developments on the ground.

On Wednesday evening, the National Security Council held a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Al-Sudani to address the interventions and violations by Turkish forces in the shared border regions. The council reiterated Iraq's rejection of the Turkish military incursion and any breach of its territory, emphasizing the need for Turkey to respect principles of good neighborliness and to engage diplomatically with the Iraqi government regarding any security concerns.

The Prime Minister instructed the dispatch of a delegation headed by the National Security Advisor to the Kurdistan Region to evaluate the situation and to form a unified stance on the issue, which impacts Iraqi sovereignty.

The council called on all parties and national forces to support the government’s position, reaffirming Iraq's constitutional and legal stance that prohibits any aggression on its territory or the use of Iraqi land as a launchpad for attacks on neighboring countries.

Turkish Defense Minister Ya?ar Güler stated on Wednesday, "We are determined to establish a security corridor 30 to 40 kilometers deep along our borders with Iraq and Syria and to cleanse the area completely."

In late June, the American organization "Peace Makers Teams" reported that the Turkish army had advanced into the Kurdistan Region with 300 tanks and armored vehicles, establishing a security barrier within the Badinan area over ten days.

According to the organization's report, around 1,000 Turkish soldiers were noted to have moved between the Turkish military base and Mount Matin within three days, establishing a security checkpoint between several villages where civilians are only allowed to pass after undergoing an investigation and presenting their Iraqi civil identification or national card.

The report indicated that Turkiye aims to establish a security line to ensure that all villages, towns, districts, valleys, lands, skies, and waters behind this line fall under Turkish military control. In case of clashes in these areas, they would become battlefields.

Additionally, the Turkish military movement aims to occupy the Gara mountain range, which would result in the Kurdistan Regional Government losing 70–75% of its control over Duhok.

At that time, the Turkish Ministry of Defense's Public Relations and Information Advisor, Zeki Akunork, announced that Turkish forces were working to enhance control in Operation Pençe-Kilit (Claw-Lock) along the border strip.

The conflict between Turkiye and the PKK dates back to the early 1980s when the PKK, founded by Abdullah Öcalan, began advocating for an independent Kurdish state within Turkiye.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the conflict intensified, with the PKK engaging in guerrilla warfare and the Turkish military conducting large-scale operations against PKK bases, particularly in southeastern Turkiye and northern Iraq.

The early 2000s saw intermittent ceasefires and attempts at peace negotiations, including a notable peace process in 2013. However, this process collapsed in 2015, leading to renewed hostilities.

Ankara frequently expresses disappointment over the Iraqi government's historical reluctance to recognize and ban the PKK as a terrorist organization. However, recent developments indicate a shift in Iraq's position.

Following high-level discussions between Turkish and Iraqi officials, Iraq has officially designated the PKK as a "banned organization."

This move aligns with Turkiye’s concerns and opens the door for enhanced cooperation in combating terrorism.

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