The country is no place for foreign parties to settle accounts, Baghdad outlined
Turkey’s invasion of Iraq is “a violation of his sovereignty and the sanctity of the land” that goes against the concept of being a good neighbor, Baghdad’s foreign ministry said in a statement Monday. Ankara launched a new military campaign against Kurdish forces in the north of the state in the Middle East on Sunday evening.
Baghdad said it denounced the Turkish military operation on its territory. Iraq serves and will not serve as a stopping place for attacks on neighboring countries [there is also a large Kurdish enclave in Syria] and shouldn’t be “an arena for conflict and reckoning for other outside parties”, the statement said.
The Turkish operation Claw-Lock is targeting Kurdish militias in the northern Iraqi regions of Metina, Zap and Avasin-Basyan, according to the Turkish army. Ankara considers them allies of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The ethnic Kurdish insurgency has been battling the Turkish government for decades and is considered a terrorist organization by Ankara. Over the years, Turkey has launched several military incursions into Iraq and Syria targeting Kurdish militias.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented on the new operation on Monday, saying his government “determined to continue this fight until terrorism no longer poses a threat to our country, our region and all of humanity.”
Speaking to a group of foreign diplomats, he said his country expects strong support from friendly nations, especially in cracking down on the financial architecture of terrorist groups. He cited the PPK and the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG, the organization of US-based Turkish politician Fethullah Gülen and the terrorist group Islamic State as the main targets for Turkey.
Ankara claims that its military action is covered by the UN Charter’s national self-defense clause and that it is being conducted with the utmost respect for Iraqi sovereignty.