Iraqi officials condemn Turkish attack in Kurdistan Region

The Iraqi Presidency, foreign ministry and Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have condemned recent Turkish attacks in the Kurdistan Region, describing them as "unacceptable".

The Iraqi presidency described the recent Turkish military operation targeting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighters in Iraq as "a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and a threat to Iraqi national security," a spokesperson to the Iraqi presidency said in a statement published on the presidency's website today, 19 April.
"Repeating the Turkish military operations inside the Iraqi borders in the Kurdistan Region, and without coordination with the Iraqi federal government, despite previous calls to stop them and hold talks and coordination around them, is unacceptable," it added.
The statement called on Turkey to respect Iraq's sovereignty while reiterating improving bilateral ties based on "mutual interests".
Turkey began a fresh cross-border offensive known as "Operation Claw Lock" against PKK early on Monday, April 18.
Iraqi foreign ministry's spokesman said that Iraq "categorically rejects and strongly condemns" the recent Turkish attacks.
Ahmad Sahaf said in a statement that "Iraq considers this action a violation of its sovereignty and the sanctity of the country, and an act that violates international charters and laws that regulate relations between countries."
He added that it also "violates the principle of good neighbourliness, which should be a reason for ensuring that coordinated security work is carried out in the service of both sides."
Influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said on his Twitter account today that those Turkish operations in Iraq have no excuse, and Iraq will not stay silent if they happen again.
Al-Sadr added that Turkey should coordinate with the Iraqi security forces to deal with any threats to Turkey from within Iraq.
“If [Turkey] has suspected any danger from Iraqi territory then it must coordinate with the Iraqi government to end its concerns as Iraqi security forces are capable of defending it,” Sadr said.
“If it is repeated, then we will not remain silent, for Iraq is a fully sovereign country,” he added.
Meanwhile, head of National Wisdom Movement Ammar al-Hakim rejected the operation in the country.
“While we are calling on the Iraqi government to seize the borders and prevent any party from using Iraqi lands as a launching pad for attacks against neighboring countries, we demand neighboring countries to respect Iraq’s sovereignty and not to carry out military operations inside its territory,” he said in a statement.
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