BAGHDAD (Dispatches) – The Iraqi Presidency has called on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Iraq and condemned Ankara’s bombing of Makhmour refugee camp in the north of the country which led to killing of three people on Saturday.
“We stress on the need to prevent the violation of Iraqi sovereignty, and the withdrawal of Turkish forces present in the regions of [Kurdistan] and Mosul, which is a violation of the principle of good neighborliness, and a violation of international norms and covenants,” the Iraqi presidency said in a statement on Sunday, adding that “the recent attack on Makhmour camp is a dangerous escalation that endangers the lives of citizens, including refugees, and is inconsistent with international and humanitarian law.”
The Iraqi presidency stressed the importance of strengthening relations with Turkey on the basis of common interests, solving border problems and security files through cooperation and coordination, rejecting unilateral practices in addressing outstanding issues.
“Iraq refuses to be a battleground for others and also refuses to be a springboard for aggression against anyone,” the statement said.
Earlier on Saturday, Turkish warplanes bombed the Makhmour refugee camp which hosts more than 12,000 Kurdish refugees who fled persecution in Turkey in the 1990s.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey targeted a senior Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) official at the refugee camp in northern Iraq, in the first Turkish confirmation of an air strike on the camp.
Erdogan said that Selman Bozkir, who he said was a senior PKK official and manager of the Makhmur camp, had been “neutralized” - a term Turkish authorities use for targets who have been killed or wounded, according to Reuters.