Iraq warns Turkey against violating airspace

BAGHDAD Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:29am EDT

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BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq warned Turkey against violating its airspace and territory and said on Tuesday it planned to protest to the U.N. Security Council after its radars had repeatedly detected Turkish warplanes, in a deepening a rift with its neighbor.

Over the past four weeks, Turkish warplanes and attack helicopters have carried out repeated strikes on suspected Kurdish militant targets in northern Iraq, according to Turkish military command, after clashes on the Iraqi side of the border.

The Turkish military says it is targeting hideouts of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants after some of the most intense battles this year of the separatist conflict.

"The Iraqi government condemns these violations to Iraq's airspace and sovereignty and warns Turkey against any violations of Iraq's airspace and territory," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in statement after a cabinet meeting.

Dabbagh said the cabinet asked the Foreign Ministry to protest to the Security Council over the violations.

"Iraq will retain its right in taking all the measures to prevent these oversteps against its sovereignty," Dabbagh said.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry was not immediately available for comment.

The PKK, considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has stepped up cross border attacks over the past year after abandoning a unilateral ceasefire.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the militants took up arms in 1984 as part of their fight for more Kurdish autonomy and rights.

Ankara has increasingly courted Iraqi Kurds as its relations with the Shi'ite-led central government in Baghdad have soured. Turkey is a major investment and trading partner for Iraq, especially for Kurdistan.

Turkish officials have been waging a war of words with Baghdad since December Iraqi Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered the arrest of Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, based on allegations that he ran death squads.

The two countries have also clashed over energy policy. The airspace warning comes two days after Baghdad condemned Turkey for receiving Kurdish oil exports by truck, saying it would damage ties with the central Iraqi government.

Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, which borders Turkey, is locked in a dispute with the central Iraqi government over oil exports and energy policy has become a very sensitive topic.

(Reporting by Aseel Kami; Editing by Alison Williams)

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Comments (4)
Brazilian1 wrote:
Hi, Turkey, how are you.

Violating someone else’s aerial space again? Congratulations.

It is interesting to notice you are not very selective towards whom you do it.

You have recently violated the aerial spaces of two fierce enemies, Iraq and Syria.

Not to mention your provokative sea mission on the Gaza strip a couple years ago.

It seems Turkey likes to provoke hostilities against other countries, an then, with its usual hyprocrisy dating back at least to the beginning of the 20th century, it puts the blame on those invaded!!!

In other words:

It was not my fault. It all started when someone else retaliated my initial aggression.

Jul 17, 2012 11:32am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Turkaboveall wrote:
@Brazilian1

you clearly have no idea how complex the middle east is with that ignorant comment. Turkey is being attacked by terrorists who spawn and expand in iraq. We definitely should fly over to bomb them and control them since iraqi government does nothing about it. the turkish f4 that was found in syrian airspace was not armed and was on a routine mission. if turkey wanted to spy on syria I’m sure they would just send in f16s. and you say we provoked the on a sea mission? LOL buddy it was a humanitarian boat no military involvment what so ever, and the best part is it was in international waters.

maybe turkey isn’t the most innocent country, but they sure aren’t going to wait to be attacked by pkk and stay quiet while economic and humanitarian problems occur

Jul 17, 2012 10:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jisright wrote:
Turkey: Violating space, then complaining when their ships are boarded/shot down.

Turkey: Complaining Cyprus has no right to sell energy, then overlooking the Baghdad government when buying energy.

Turkey: It seems this power under AKP has really become a pariah state and the true spoiled child of the Middle East and US’s preferred ally. Its sad that Obama thinks these freaks are a model to be followed-they deconstructed a somewhat modern, secular state, and all they got for it was a bunch of terrorists coming to power in a bunch of countries including Turkey.

You know the world’s scary when Rick Perry is right. And you know its even scarier when it wasn’t an Islamophobic comment but one endorsing CHP.

Jul 17, 2012 12:32am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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