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Iraq's popular groups warn Turkey against new incursion

Hadi al-Amiri, the head of the Fatah (Conquest) Alliance at the Iraqi parliament (File photo)

An Iraqi politician says the Turkish army appears to be preparing for an incursion into Sinjar Mountains in northern Iraq near the Syrian border.

Hadi al-Amiri, the head of Fatah (Conquest) Alliance at the Iraqi parliament, said Saturday while Iraqis expected Turkish troops to withdraw from the town of Bashiqa deep inside Iraq and recently occupied border territories, Turkey was primed for a further invasion and occupation of the Arab country.

Turkey must stop its “hostile acts” which do not serve the interests of either state, he said in a statement carried by al-Sumaria television network.

He called on the Iraqi government to "take all necessary measures to prevent any encroachment on the Iraqi territory."

Amiri noted that Iraqi Armed Forces, security agencies and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), commonly known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, are capable of defending their homeland against any possible Turkish incursion.

The Turkish army regularly conducts operations and air raids against outlawed PKK terrorists in southeast Turkey as well as northern Syria and Iraq. Both neighboring countries view Ankara's operations as violation of their sovereignty.  

On Wednesday, Turkey launched operation "Claw-Eagle 2" against the PKK militants in Iraq’s northern Gara region. 

The PKK, designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984. Ever since, more than 40,000 people have been killed in a conflict mainly focused in southeast Turkey.

Iraq's al-Nujaba movement which is part of Hashd al-Sha’abi on Saturday criticized the government of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi for its perceived laxity in the face of Turkey's actions in northern Iraq.

In a statement, the movement said the "weakness of official organizations" and factional interests being given preference have turned Iraq into a battleground for expansionist aspirations of some foreign countries.  

"The Turkish army must take a lesson from the fate of American occupiers who had more facilities, weapons and troops," al-Nujaba said. 

The resistance group urged Turkish forces to reconsider their calculations before targeting Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province. It also called on the Iraqi government, parliament and related organizations to take a unified stance against any act of foreign aggression.  

"If the government remains silent, the Iraqi people and the resistance will take a clear position, as they are able to confront and repel the occupiers," Nujaba warned. 

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