Clashes resume between Turkey and PKK, Iraq condemns
Shafaq News/ On Wednesday, clashes renewed between the Turkish army and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the north of Duhok governorate.
A military source told Shafaq News Agency, "Armed clashes erupted, this evening, between the Turkish army and elements of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the Matin Mountains overlooking the Al-Amadiyah district."
"Turkish helicopters participated in the ongoing clashes in the Nihli area and the vicinity of Dirluk district north the governorate."
Earlier, The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) announced the killing of dozens of Turkish soldiers in the clashes in several regions in northern Iraq.
"The operations of our forces continue to confront the occupation attacks (of Turkey) in the Zab and Avasin regions..the Turkish soldiers were shocked. They did not expect this resistance." The PKK's Military wing (HPG) stated.
HPG denied the news circulated on Turkish media about “the heavy losses of PKK members.” Affirming that “our raids continue and our warplanes keep flying without stopping."
"Five Guerilla fighters and at least 41 Turkish soldiers were killed, and five other soldiers were wounded; in addition, PKK downed two drones in the past 24 hours in the Avasin area," HPG added.
The Turkish Defense Minister launched an action called "Operation Claw Lock" to "prevent terror attacks" and ensure border security following an assessment that the PKK was planning a large-scale attack.
Turkey regularly launches air strikes into northern Iraq, a region where it has repeatedly sent commandos to support its offensives.
The PKK took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which in the past was mainly focused on southeast Turkey.
PKK is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union.
The Iraqi Presidency said that the Turkish military operation on the Iraqi borders in the Kurdistan Region violates Iraqi sovereignty.
"We follow up the Turkish military operations on the Iraqi borders in the Kurdistan Region with great concern. The frequent operations without coordination with the Iraqi federal is unacceptable." the spokesperson for the Presidency said in a statement.
"Iraqi sovereignty must be respected."
The official statement stressed that Iraq rejects using its land as a field of conflict with others, threatening its security and internal stability.
In turn, the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the military operation.
The spokesperson for the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, Ahmed Al-Sahaf, said that Iraq has the right to use all "sources of force" in response to Turkey's military operation.
In a statement, he said, "the Iraqi Foreign Ministry considered the military operations on Iraqi territory a blatant violation of Iraq's sovereignty, and they threaten the security of Iraqi citizens."
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Turkey's ambassador and handed him a protest note, describing the military operations as unilateral and hostile…so far we did not receive a response.”
"The Turkish side gave excuses to its operations saying they aim to defend its national security.”
He pointed out that "the Iraqi government stressed the importance of strengthening the principles of good-neighborliness, due to the historical and economic relations between the two countries.”
In this regard, "Iraq has the right to use all sources of power at the bilateral, multilateral and international organizations based on the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of International Laws.” Al-Sahaf said.