Vindicating its stand that PKK terrorists are receiving covert support from the regional countries, two Iraqi military officers have also been reported dead in a Turkish military air raid on the terror group in their den located deep inside northern Iraq.
PKK is a US, EU and Turkey-designated terror organization which has assassinated more than 40,000 Turkish citizens.
Last Tuesday, with its close coordination with Turkey’s intelligence agency – MIT, the Turkish armed forces launched attacks on PKK in Bradost area in northern Iraq where Iraqi border officials and PKK terrorists were holding a meeting.
The death of two Iraqi military officers has been confirmed by Bradost Mayor Ihsan Chelebi.
Turkey has long been saying PKK terrorists had found safe heavens in Iraqi mountains from where they send terrorists and arms support to attack Turkey inside its borders.
However, Turkey has launched strong air and land-based military operations in recent past denting the prospects of the PKK terrorists and their backers.
No such incident has been reported in past where regular Iraqi soldiers were reported dead when Turkish armed forces hit the terror targets.
However, presence of the Iraqi military officials at the PKK terror launch pads raises questions over motives of the Iraqi authorities.
Iraq’s stand on PKK has even got murkier with the statement of French President Emmanuel Macron who is already facing huge backlash for his recent visit to blast-hit Beirut, the capital of Lebanon.
The Kurdistan Regional Government, an autonomous administration in northern Iraq, has also expressed strong opposition to PKK terrorism.
Unless Iraq and other regional countries move fast to halt their support to PKK terrorist and evict from their countries, there seem to be more reasons for Turkey to expand its military operations.
Turkey’s current operations which started in June target PKK terrorists in Sinjar and the Qandil mountains of Iraq and have “neutralized” 83 militants since June 16.
Turkish armed forces use “neutralized” term to indicate either the terrorists were killed, captured or surrendered.
Turkey today said it was Baghdad’s responsibility to take action against the terrorists, and Ankara “would defend its borders if the PKK’s presence is allowed”.
“Our country is ready to cooperate with Iraq on this issue. However, in the event PKK presence in Iraq is overlooked, our country is determined to take the measures it deems necessary for its border security no matter where it may be,” the country’s foreign ministry said. “We call on Iraq to take the necessary steps for this.”
Iraq cannot afford to slide away from Ankara which is a regional heavy weight and, of course, Iraq’s big trade partner.