Aug 12, 2020 05:50 UTC
  • Iraq slams Turkish drone strike against Kurdistan region

Iraq has vehemently denounced Turkey’s recent drone strike that killed two Iraqi border guards and a companion in the country’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

The office of Iraqi President Barham Saleh issued a statement on Tuesday and condemned the assault as "a dangerous violation of Iraqi sovereignty" and international rules.

The statement also called on Ankara to "stop all its military operations" in the region and asked for negotiations with the aim of solving border problems between the two countries in a peaceful way.

Earlier in the day, two high-ranking Iraqi officers and the driver of their vehicle were killed in the Sidakan district of Kurdish, in what the army said was a "blatant Turkish drone attack" in the semi-autonomous region, where Ankara has been targeting the hideouts of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group over the past weeks.

It is the first time that members of the Iraqi government troops have been killed since Turkey launched a cross-border operation in mid-June against the Kurdish militants in the mountainous terrain of northern Iraq.

At least five civilians have been killed since the Turkish military started its ground campaign, dubbed Claw-Tiger Operation, against PKK positions in northern Iraq on July 17 and Claw-Eagle Operation, the air campaign, two days earlier.

Moreover, Ankara has announced the death of two of its soldiers since then, and the PKK reported the deaths of 10 militants.

Iraq has already summoned the Turkish envoy in Baghdad twice in protest at Ankara's assault on its soil.