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Turkey Reaches ‘Understandings’ with Iraq against the PKK

Turkey Reaches ‘Understandings’ with Iraq against the PKK

Thursday, 21 January, 2021 - 06:45
An Iraqi army soldier stands next to the graffiti left by PKK members, who recently withdrew in Sinjar, Iraq. Dec. 4, 2020. (AP File Photo)

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced on Wednesday reaching “understandings” with Baghdad against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), as Turkish sources expected a joint operation in mid-March on PKK’s military bases in northern Iraq.

Iraqi officials, who convened with Akar, stressed Iraq’s sovereignty on all its territories.

“Turkey is ready to provide support for eliminating terrorists in Iraq’s Sinjar region if necessary,” Akar said following his official visit to Iraq.

The defense minister told reporters speaking at the Erbil consulate of Turkey that cooperation between Ankara and Baghdad, as well as Ankara and Erbil, will lead to important developments in the fight against terrorism.

In Oct., the Iraqi government and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) signed the “Sinjar Agreement” to normalize the situation in Sinjar in northern Iraq.

The agreement stated that only Iraqi federal forces should operate in Sinjar and all other armed groups must leave the town.

Turkish reports have revealed a three-phase plan to end the operations of the PKK.

Turkish newspaper Aydinlik quoted sources as saying that Turkey attaches great importance to Sinjar, which is used by PKK fighters to cement their influence in the northeast of Syria.

During his visit to Iraq, Akar held several meetings with Iraqi officials, including his counterpart, President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, and Interior Minister Othman al-Ghanmi in Baghdad, and former KRG leader Masoud Barzani, KRG President Nechirvan Barzani, as well as the Iraqi Turkmen Front in Irbil.

The visit of the Turkish defense minister to Baghdad and Erbil comes a month after the Iraqi's PM trip to Ankara and his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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