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Iraq decries latest Turkish drone strike in Kurdistan region, vows response after investigation

This file picture shows a view of the Iraqi Foreign Ministry building in Baghdad, Iraq. (Photo via Twitter)

Baghdad has condemned Turkey for its deadly drone strike in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, pledging "necessary steps" in response to the attack.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday that such actions “represent violation of Iraq's sovereignty and a threat to the security of ordinary people, several of whom lost their lives and sustained injuries as a result of the attack.”

“This attack undermines the security of Iraq and stability of its people, and requires a unified stance to be confronted,” the statement added.

The ministry also pledged “necessary steps after completion of a thorough investigation into the attack.”

On Wednesday, a Turkish drone struck a security base belonging to the Protection Force of Ezidxan, which is aligned with the so-called Kurdistan Communities Union and backed by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, in the Snune sub-district of Sinjar in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

According to the Kurdish-language Kurdistan 24 television news network, the attack left at least six people dead and injured several others. However, some other media outlets put the death toll at four.

Turkish military base in northern Iraq comes under rocket attack

Meanwhile, a number of BM-21 Grad rockets have reportedly targeted a military base in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh, which houses Turkish forces involved in ongoing military operations against purported PKK positions in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network reported that the projectiles hit Zilkan base in northern Iraq’s Bashiqa region early on Saturday.

Sabereen News, a Telegram news channel associated with Iraqi anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units – better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi – reported that five 122mm Grad rockets had slammed into the base.

Turkey launched a new cross-border incursion into Iraq, codenamed Operation Claw-Lock, in April. The air-and-ground military attacks target suspected PKK positions in the Zab, Basiyan, Avasheen, and Korajiwar districts in the Kurdistan region. 

In response, Baghdad summoned Turkish ambassador Ali Riza Guney and handed him a "strongly worded" protest note, calling the operation a blatant violation of Iraq's sovereignty. 

Ankara summoned the Iraqi charge d'affaires too, informing the official that those military operations will continue if Baghdad doesn't take action against PKK members. 

Militants of the PKK — designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union — regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.

A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.

More than 40,000 people have been killed during the three-decade conflict between Turkey and the autonomy-seeking militant group.

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