UAE denounces Turkish, Iranian violations in Iraq
LONDON – The UAE deplored on Wednesday the Turkish and Iranian military interventions in northern Iraq in a statement from the Foreign Ministry, denouncing their violations against the sovereignty of a “of a sisterly Arab country”.
The “bombing of areas in northern Iraq constituted a violation of the sovereignty of a sisterly Arab country and led to intimidation and the spread of terror among innocent civilians,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.
The statement also affirmed the UAE’s “unwavering principle in rejecting all interference in the affairs of Arab countries”.
In tandem with Turkey’s Special Forces assault into Iraqi Kurdistan, Iran has reportedly carried out heavy shelling areas of the semi-autonomous province along its borders.
Erbil-based Rudaw news and other Iraqi networks reported Iranian shelling in the Alana and Haji Omeran district bordering Iran that coincided with the ground offensive launched by Turkey.
In a statement Thursday, Turkey’s Defence Ministry said that its forces have hit more than 500 targets in northern Iraq as part of an operation in the region against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The attack that lasted 36 hours involved Turkish F-16 jets, drones and howitzers, according to the statement.
Turkish warplanes struck PKK targets in various regions of northern Iraq on Sunday and Tuesday in two separate raids, which Ankara said were in response to an increase in militant attacks on Turkish army bases.
Ankara launched the “Claw-Tiger Operation” on Tuesday in northern Iraq’s Haftanin region.
In recent years, Turkey has worked to increase and diversify its military intervention in Iraq, seizing on the weakness of the Iraqi state, which is bogged down with political, social, security and economic challenges.
Baghdad summoned Ankara’s ambassador to Iraq, Fatih Yildiz, June 16 to protest Turkey’s pounding of PKK targets in northern Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region.
Turkey began expanding its military footprint in Iraq last summer in an intense operation against PKK targets following the July 17 assassination of Osman Kose in Erbil. Kose worked for the Turkish Consulate there and Ankara has blamed the PKK for his killing.
Turkish officials have said their operations have focused on cutting supply lines and transport routes connecting the PKK in Turkey and Iraq.