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Russia challenges legitimacy of Turkey’s anti-PKK raids on Iraq

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (© AFP)

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has questioned the legitimacy of Turkey’s military offensive against the bases belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraq, arguing that the move lacks Baghdad’s approval.

In an interview with Egypt’s al-Ahram newspaper published on Thursday, Medvedev drew a parallel between Ankara’s ongoing military campaign in northern Iraq and airstrikes conducted by the so-called anti-ISIL coalition led by the US in Syria, expressing skepticism about the legality of both actions in the region.

“The coalition was set up bypassing the UN Security Council and has spread its activities over the territory of Syria without its government’s consent. This provokes serious doubts in terms of legitimacy of such actions. By the way, the recent Turkish airstrikes against Iraq cannot help but raise similar questions as well,” he said.

The Russian premier further emphasized the need for a joint effort by a wide range of countries under the auspices of an international organization to combat terrorism.

Recently, the Arab League denounced Turkey’s anti-PKK operations in Iraq, calling on Ankara to recognize its neighbor’s sovereignty.

The Turkish government, however, reacted angrily and rejected the 22-nation Arab body’s criticism.

Turkish Air Force fighter planes land at Incirlik Air Base on the outskirts of the southern Turkish city of Adana, July 30, 2015. (© AP)


Turkey recently launched airstrikes against the PKK bases in northern Iraq as well as purported ISIL positions in Syria after a deadly bomb attack, which left 32 people dead in the southwestern town of Suruç, across the border from the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, however, condemned Turkey’s anti-PKK attacks as a “dangerous escalation” and a “violation” of his country’s sovereignty.Both Turkey and most parties to the so-called anti-ISIL coalition have long been viewed as major supporters of the Takfiri terrorists operating to topple the Syrian government.

Syrian delegation in Russia

Meanwhile, in another development, a delegation of Syrian military and experts on security arrived in the Russian capital city of Moscow earlier this week.

A Syrian embassy representative, whose name was not released in reports, told Russia’s Interfax news agency that the delegation of six people are expected to discuss ways to counter terrorism in the Arab country.

Syria has been battling foreign-sponsored militancy since March 2011. The violence fueled by Takfiri terrorist groups has so far left over 230,000 people dead.

This is while the Western governments and their regional allies such as Turkey have contributed to the rise of terrorist groups fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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