May 01, 2021 14:02 UTC
  • Group warns over 'expansionist' Turkish plan to build base in Iraq

An Iraqi parliamentary faction has expressed opposition to a plan by Turkey to build a military base in the northern part of the Arab country, calling the move "provocative" and a "violation of Iraqi sovereignty."

On Friday, a Turkish government official said Ankara had plans to construct a military base on Iraqi soil amid long-time clashes with Kurdish militants in the north.

Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Ankara would press ahead with its military operations near its border in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. 

Emphasizing the strategic significance of the Metina region of Duhok Province in Iraqi Kurdistan, Soylu said, “Just like we did in Syria, we will establish bases and control the area.”

“This region is a route to Qandil and we will control this line,” the minister added, referring to the mountainous area in northern Iraq where militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are based.

On Saturday, Ammar Ta’meh, head of the al-Nahj al-Watani faction, said Turkey's “expansionist plans” would threaten the relationship between the two countries and “bring harm and loss to everyone," according to the Arabic-language National Iraqi News Agency (NINA).

He also stressed that the existence of a unified Iraqi national position to help the government in maintaining the sovereignty of the country and ending the influence of foreigners is a necessity for maintaining the security and stability of Iraq.