Iraq approves Turkish military operations against “anti-Turkish Kurds” on joint borders

nsnbc : Meeting with Iraqi Justice Minister Haider al-Zamili in Baghdad, Turkish ambassador to Iraq, Fateh Yildiz, said Ankara started to launch military operations on its borders with Iraq “to purge the borders from terrorist pockets in collaboration with the Iraqi government”, as quoted by a statement by the Iraqi justice ministry.

October 2017; Yezidi YJS fighters returning home to Shingal after participating in the liberation of Raqqa, Syria.

October 2017; Yezidi YJS fighters returning home to Shingal after participating in the liberation of Raqqa, Syria.

The term “pockets” refers to what Ankara perceives as anti-Turkish Kurds on the joint borders. The wording suggests that it not merely includes Turkey’s Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), but also elements of the Syrian – Kurdish People’s Protection Units, eventually including US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Yezidi Shengal Women’s Units and other Kurdish and Yezidi militia. Ambassador Yildiz also said “Turkey is prepared to cooperate with the Iraqi government in the field of counter-terrorism and entrenching the sovereignty of both countries.”

On his side, the Iraqi minister said “Iraq has shown good intentions in Turkish demands related to the security on joint borders”, adding that “the political and security situation requires new agreements”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara on Monday his country would, at any time, launch operations in Iraq’s northern Sinjar region against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a group designated by Ankara as a terrorist group for engaging in decades of armed confrontations with it. The Shengal (Sinjar) Women’s Units are located around Mount Shengal (Sinjar) as well. Turkey has also been carrying out offensives since January against Kurdish factions in Afrin, northwest of Syria. It has regularly conducted airstrikes against PKK locations in northern Iraq. There is a convergence in Iraq’s, Iran’s and Turkey’s plans to oppress Kurdish and Yezidi militia in the region, especially in the region around Mount Shingal, the prime real estate for the launch of SCUD missiles during the Gulf War.

Related background articles:

Kurdistan, Iraq, and Iran’s interest in Saddam’s prime real estate for SCUD missile launches
Is Iran aiming to control the Yazidi Mount Shingal in Iraq? Ali Qarkarani spotted in Sinjar
Fighters of the Yezidi Shengal Women’s Units returned to Mount Shingal and an uncertain future

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