Iraqi Kurds call deadly Turkish strike 'unacceptable'

Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region on Tuesday said Turkish air strikes in which six of its security forces were killed overnight were "unacceptable".


Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers fire artillery at Islamic State positions in Bashiqa, east of Mosul, Iraq, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. Source: AP

The peshmerga, the region's armed forces, said in the statement however that the apparent accident should be blamed on Turkey's rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), whose affiliates were the target of the strikes.

"The death of the peshmerga is regrettable and the strike on the peshmerga by Turkish warplanes is unacceptable," the statement said.


Turkey carried out several strikes in Syria and Iraq against separatist Kurdish rebels and their allies overnight. Six members of the Iraqi Kurdish government's security forces were killed.

The strikes in the Sinjar area of northern Iraq were against positions held by the Yazidi Protection Units (YBS), a militia supported by the PKK, which Ankara considers a terrorist group.

The PKK and Iraq's dominant Kurdish faction, which is allied to Ankara, are rivals however and the peshmerga statement put the blame for the deaths in its ranks squarely on the PKK.

"These problems and tensions are all because of the PKK's presence," it said, accusing the PKK and its affiliates of refusing to withdraw from the Sinjar area.


1 min read
Published 25 April 2017 at 9:23pm
Source: AFP