Iraq likely to summon Turkish ambassador over deadly clashes in the north

Iraq likely to summon Turkish ambassador over deadly clashes in the north

Agency News

Baghdad, Jan 28 : Iraq government has said it would call for Turkey’s ambassador to protest over the death of a Kurdish demonstrator fired on by Turkish troops.

''The Foreign Ministry will summon the Turkish ambassador to hand a protest note about the incident and demand that it will not be repeated," the ministry said in a statement. ''Iraq firmly condemns any transgression on the security and sovereignty of Iraq or the use of its territory to attack the security and safety of any neighbouring country,'' it further said.

Ten people were injured when the troops opened fire on protesters who stormed a Turkish military camp in Iraq's northern Kurdish region on Saturday and set fire to two tanks and several other vehicles.

The protest was sparked by a recent Turkish air raid in the area that killed four civilians. Saturday's incident prompted several Iraqi politicians to call for the removal of foreign troops from the country.

"What happened is a violation of Iraq's independence. The Iraqi government is responsible for defending the lives of those living within its borders, we call for foreign troops to be expelled from the country," an Iraqi MP told the National.

"An attack has occurred on one of bases located in northern Iraq as a result of provocation by the PKK terrorist organisation. There was partial damage to vehicles and equipment during the attack," Turkey's Defence Ministry said on Twitter. The ministry said "necessary precautions" were being taken over the incident.

Kurdistan’s government denounced the attack and said it would open an investigation. It said it was "saddened" by the casualties and material damage at Shiladze but only referred to an "incident" without mentioning Turkey or the protest. Baghdad had summoned the Turkish ambassador last month to protest against Ankara's air strikes as a "violation of its sovereignty".

"We categorically reject the presence of Turkish forces in Bashiqa," he said. "We call on Turkey to take a clear stance on these violations, recognise them as violations and put an end to them." Tensions over the presence of Turkish forces in northern Iraq came to a head in October 2017, with Ankara and Baghdad summoning the other’s ambassador. (UNI)