Turkey has launched a deadly drone strike on a refugee camp in Iraq’s northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, drawing angry reactions from Iraqi politicians of different factions, who censured the attack as a violation of the Arab country’s sovereignty.
The media office of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement that its air defense detected a Turkish drone breaching the Iraqi airspace and firing a rocket on Maxmur refugee camp near the town of Makhmour on Wednesday.
Two women were killed in the raid, the statement said. Iraqi media later reported that the death toll had risen to three.
‘A violation of Iraqi sovereignty’
In a statement on Wednesday, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) condemned the airstrike on the refugee camp as a breach of Iraq’s sovereignty, saying such attacks threatens peace and stability in the region.
The statement further called on the Iraqi government to protect the county’s sovereignty and reconsider trade exchanges with Turkey.
It also called on the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to play their part in finding peaceful solutions to prevent recurrence of such attacks.
In turn, Ammar al-Hakim, the Leader of Iraq’s National Wisdom Movement, denounced the airstrike and said the violation of Iraqi sovereignty is “unjustifiable.”
The Iraqi government should shoulder its responsibility regarding such violations, he said.
Iraq ‘must sue Turkey at UN’
The Iraqi Parliament’s Foreign Relation Committee also denounced the airstrike.
Similarly, Kate’ al-Rikabi, a member of the parliamentary Security and Defense Committee, urged the Baghdad the government to file a complaint with the UN Security Council (UNSC) over the act of aggression.
It is not the first time Turkey has carried out airstrikes against refugees and in areas where minorities, such as Izadis, live in northern Iraq.
Turkey claims it is targeting the positions of the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group in northern Iraq, but has never presented any evidence that its airstrikes have eliminated anyone involved in recent terror attacks against Turkey.
The militants regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey, which is attached to northern Iraq.
Turkish ground and air forces have also been carrying out operations in neighboring Syria against militants of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), considered by Ankara a terrorist organization and an extension of the PKK.
The YPG makes up the bulk of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed coalition of fighters who have seized parts of territory from Daesh in northern Syria.
The Syrian government has likewise called on Ankara to end its unlawful military intervention in the neighboring Arab country.
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