In the first official response to the Friday drone strike on Sulaymaniyah International Airport, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that his nation would continue its operations in Sulaymaniyah, which is governed by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Talabani’s party, was quoted as saying in this regard: “According to our information, the PUK purchased the helicopters used by the terrorists from France and allocated them to the terrorists for their use.”
“The US has control over the region’s airspace, so they are aware of all flights”, Cavusoglu said in a television interview. He added that Turkey has consistently claimed that the US and some European nations support the PKK and People’s Defense Units (YPG), the two main groups that make up the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
According to Cavusoglu, the PKK has taken leadership of Talabani’s party in Sulaymaniyah and has gained access to key locations including the city’s airports.
He stated that Ankara would not meddle in their domestic matters, but added that their differences and tensions would be detrimental to everyone.
“They use public, commercial airports. [Civil airports] have been infiltrated by the PKK. Everyone in Sulaimaniyah has fallen under the PKK’s authority, notably Talabani’s party”, he said.
The foreign minister noted that because they were unable reach Erbil, they continuously tried a variety of tactics to damage the city.
The Sulaymaniyah airport was the target of a drone strike on Friday that the US-backed SDF, led by Mazloum Abdi, said was launched from Turkey. The SDF made this announcement last Saturday.
According to Cavusoglu, PUK members have acknowledged that “the PKK totally controls the PUK.”
He also said that until their objectives were met, Turkish military operations would continue against the PKK in northern Iraq and the SDF in Syria.