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Iraq's Kurdish region: PKK attacked our forces

Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Interior Minister Rebar Ahmed Khalid [Yunus Keleş/Anadolu Agency]
Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Interior Minister Rebar Ahmed Khalid [Yunus Keleş/Anadolu Agency]

A commander in Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)'s army said the Peshmerga forces repelled an attack by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighters in the Sidakan area.

The commander of the Peshmerga's Halgurd Brigade, Bahram Arif Yassin, said

PKK fighters have been provoking his forces by planting bombs in the main villages and along roads and giving the Turkish army an excuse to evacuate Kurdish villages of their inhabitants.

He explained that fighting broke out at 11:30pm on Wednesday between the Peshmerga forces and PKK elements, when a number of PKK fighters attacked the Peshmerga forces with RPGs and Kalashnikovs, but the Peshmerga forces repelled them.

He explained that the PKK fighters hope to create confusion and instability in the border areas warning that their actions are harming the areas' residents.

In February, Turkey launched an operation dubbed 'Claw-Eagle 2' against the outlawed PKK in the northern Iraqi region of Dohuk. This was an effort to locate and release 13 members of its military that had been captured by the group.

The PKK is classed as a terrorist organisation by the US, EU and Turkey.

Iraq has not welcomed the move and summoned the Turkey defence envoy.

Foreign Ministry Senior Undersecretary, Nizar Al-Khairallah, said: "The Iraqi government categorically rejects the continuous violations of Iraqi sovereignty as well as land and airspace by Turkish military forces which contradict friendly relations, good neighbourliness, and relevant international laws and norms."

READ: Iraq summons Turkey envoy following defence minister's visit

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