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Turkish Army Penetrates Deeper in Iraqi Kurdistan

Turkish Army Penetrates Deeper in Iraqi Kurdistan

Sunday, 1 April, 2018 - 11:30
A Kurdish Peshmerga on guard in Northern Iraq. Reuters

The Turkish army continues to build a military base in the Balkaya Mountain near the Turkish border with Iraq amid reports of a deeper incursion into Iraqi Kurdistan and the establishment of three permanent bases there.

The installation of the base in Balkaya Mountain is being established in the framework of operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). It’s located at the altitude of 2,400 meters in the Semdinli district, according to Turkish security sources.

For its part, Kurdish media network, Rudaw, reported an increase in Turkish operations in Sidakan, an area in northern Iraq close to the foothills of the Qandil mountains, a territory of central importance to the PKK.

The Turkish military has established three new bases in the Kani Rash and Hakurk areas in Iraqi Kurdistan, it said.

Work is already underway on roads to connect the new bases, with 13 kilometers constructed so far, according to Rudaw.

"Although the Turkish army did not enter the village, a number of soldiers asked one of the children there to bring some food for them, and they stressed that they would not harm the people," the network quoted local residents in Ashma village as saying.

Turkish sources refused to comment on these reports, stressing to Asharq Al-Awsat that Turkey would not hesitate to do any work that preserves the security of its borders and people.

They pointed out that the Turkish army is taking measures in the south-eastern areas bordering Iraq to prevent any terrorist operations or infiltration of elements of PKK elements from Qandil mountains into the country.

In this context, the leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party confirmed that the Turkish message to the Iraqi government on Sinjar and Qandil mountains is very clear and that the Turkish army will do what is necessary in case the Iraqi army did not do what it should in these areas.

Last week, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that his government won’t accept Turkey to be threatened from the Iraqi territories.

While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Turkish intelligence service has received information on the beginning of an Iraqi military operation in Sinjar targeting the PKK, hoping to achieve success, and he stressed that Turkey will do what is necessary in case this operation fails.

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