The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs has openly condemned the recent Turkish orchestrated airstrike against a PKK commander based in Sinjar. Iraq has denied that there was any cooperation in the execution of the operation and that the strike violated Iraq’s sovereignty. Ministry spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub told local media that, “The ministry also rejects these attacks and strongly denies any coordination between Baghdad and Ankara in this regard,” clearly objecting to Turkey’s bold steps. He continued to call the presence of Turkish military forces in Bashiqa a “violation of international conventions and Iraq’s sovereignty.” The ministry claims their relationship with Turkey “shall be based on a unified vision for eliminating terrorism in all forms and preserve the lives of civilians.”
The Turkish Air Force carried out an airstrike in Sinjar on Wednesday; the district was under the jurisdiction of the Sinjar Protection Units (YBS). PKK leader Ismail Ozden was the target, and he was killed on impact; four YBS members were killed as well. Ozden was originally from Batman, Turkey and a memorial service took place over the weekend in Sinjal. Ozden’s death was confirmed by the PKK Executive Committee. The committee condemned the airstrike and said Ozden was a “valiant freedom fighter of the people of Kurdistan,” serving “the Yezidi Kurdish people” for four consecutive decades but had only been stationed in Shingal since 2014.
Iraq’s Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, visited with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier this week to discuss border security and the preservation of national sovereignty. Prime Minister Abadi stated that, “In the security case, and the topic of controlling the border, our stance is clear in that we reject all assaults starting from Iraqi territory on the neighbor Turkey or any of Iraq’s neighbors.” President Erdogan made his expectations of Iraq and their handling of the PKK clear, according to Abadi. The Prime Minister said, “We denounce such aggression and stand against it,” post-meeting.