Turkey ‘intensely’ bombards northern Iraqi villages following PM visit – report


Turkish military forces bombed ten villages in northern Iraq after the two countries agreed further cooperation in fighting militant groups in the region, pro-Kurdish Rudaw news agency reported on Sunday.

The bombardment that launched on Friday evening and lasted until early Saturday morning in the Zakho region caused no casualties but “terrified” the locals, Disher Abdulsattar, a mayor in the Batifa subdistrict, told Rudaw.

Some of Turkey’s bombs landed near bases of Iraqi border guards, but did not cause casualties, a security source in Zakho told Rudaw.

“The bombardment has caused a lot fear among locals of 4 or 5 villages in both Batifa and Baguva,” the security source said. “What makes the bombardment different is that it was very intense.”

On his first visit to Ankara since taking office in May, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday and discussed joint operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Turkey launched a cross-border air and ground offensive in June to target the PKK in various regions of northern Iraq in response to an increase in attacks against Turkish armed forces. The militant group has based itself in northern Iraq to help avoid Turkish military attacks.

The PKK, designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and European Union, has been fighting an armed insurgency against the Turkish state for four decades. Tens of thousands of people, mostly ethnic Kurds based in Turkey, have died in the conflict.



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