One killed by Turkish strike on northern Iraq: Local official

Baghdad condemns Turkish strikes over northern Iraq as violation of its sovereignty that led to killing of civilians.

Turkish army jet
Turkey regularly attacks PKK fighters, both in its mainly Kurdish southeast and in northern Iraq, where the group is based [File: Presidential Press Service/AP]

A Turkish air strike in northern Iraq killed one person and wounded six others on Thursday, a local official said, as Baghdad called on Turkey to end its “violation” of Iraqi sovereignty.

On June 17, Turkey launched a cross-border ground and air operation, dubbed “Claw-Tiger,” against Kurdish fighters hiding out in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

It deployed warplanes, drones and special forces against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a “terrorist” group because of its decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state.

On Thursday evening, a Turkish strike hit a pickup truck in a rural area north of the Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah, said local official Kameran Abdallah.

“It killed one man who was in the car,” said Abdallah, without being able to specify whether the victim was a civilian or fighter. “The six wounded consisted of two women, two children and two men, all members of the same family.”

On Friday, Baghdad issued a statement calling on Turkey to end its breach of Iraqi airspace and sovereignty, in which a number of civilians were killed, according to local media reports. 

“These actions are a flagrant violation of the principle of good neighbourliness, and a clear violation of international agreements,” said the statement issued by Iraq’s presidential office.

Since “Claw-Tiger” began, at least five civilians have been killed and hundreds of families have fled their homes.

Ankara, which has maintained that strikes in northern Iraq target the PKK in response to an increase in rebel attacks on Turkish army bases, has not commented on the reports. 

One PKK fighter and two Turkish soldiers have also been killed, according to the respective commands.

The PKK has long used the rugged terrain of northern Iraq as a rear base to wage attacks on Turkey, which in turn had set up military positions inside Iraqi territory to fight them.

Iraq has summoned the Turkish envoy in Baghdad twice since the operation began, but official Kurdish comment has been notably more subdued.

The Kurdish authorities, dominated by the Democratic Party of Kurdistan (KDP), see the PKK as rivals but have never been able to uproot them from their northern Iraqi bases.

Kurdish women volunteer to protect crops from ISIL

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies