Iraq condemns Turkish strikes in Kurdistan region

<p style="text-align:left">In what it called a flagrant violation of its sovereignty, Iraq says Turkish airstrikes inside its airspace targeted a refugee camp and killed three civilians Wednesday.

&ldquo;We deplore the penetration of Iraqi airspace by Turkish aircraft,&rdquo; the Iraqi government-affiliated Security Media Cell wrote on Twitter. &ldquo;This provocative behavior is inconsistent with the obligations of good neighbors.&rdquo;

On Wednesday, news outlets in Kurdistan region reported that that an strike killed three civilians near a refugee camp in the mountainous Makhmour region and that another airstrike destroyed a shelter in the city of Rawanduz belonging to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Turkey has attacked the refugee camp before, saying it is a haven for the PKK; The Associated Press quoted Iraqi officials today as saying the strike was made with a drone.

The shelter bombing, which took place just 200 meters away from a peshmerga headquarters northeast of Erbil, took out two telecommunications towers, a local official told Rudaw.

Turkey&rsquo;s Defense Ministry said, &ldquo;Turkish fighter jets neutralized four PKK terrorists,&rdquo; according to a statement carried by the state-run Anadolu Agency. The ministry said the jets struck Wednesday in the Qandil region near the Iraq-Iran border.

Under its military campaign dubbed &ldquo;Operation Claw,&rdquo; Turkey has been targeting PKK strongholds in neighboring Iraq, which it says are used by the militants to launch cross-border attacks inside Turkey. In January, Turkish airstrikes killed at least four Yazidi fighters affiliated with the PKK in northern Iraq&rsquo;s Sinjar Mountain region.

As Iraq reported civilian casualties from Wednesday's strikes, Turkey&rsquo;s Defense Ministry said one of its soldiers was killed in a separate attack south of its border in Iraq's Hakurk region.

&ldquo;A hero fellow soldier was martyred by the explosion of a mine/handmade explosive previously placed by terrorists from the separatist terrorist organization PKK,&rdquo; the ministry said in a statement today.

In October 2019, Turkey launched a military operation in northern Syria to drive away from its border the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), elements of which Ankara views linked to the PKK.

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