In what it called a flagrant violation of its sovereignty, Iraq says Turkish airstrikes inside its airspace targeted a refugee camp and killed three civilians on Wednesday, the Al-Monitor news website reported.
“We deplore the penetration of Iraqi airspace by Turkish aircraft,” the Iraqi government-affiliated Security Media Cell wrote on Twitter. “This provocative behavior is inconsistent with the obligations of good neighbors.”
On Wednesday news outlets in Iraq’s Kurdistan region reported that that an airstrike killed three civilians near a refugee camp in the mountainous Makhmour region and that another destroyed a shelter in the city of Rawanduz belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed Turkish insurgent group. Turkey has attacked the refugee camp before, saying it is a haven for the PKK. The Associated Press quoted Iraqi officials today as saying the strike was carried out by a drone.
The shelter bombing, which took place just 200 meters from a peshmerga headquarters northeast of Erbil, took out two telecommunications towers, a local official told Rudaw.
Turkey’s Defense Ministry said, “Turkish fighter jets [killed] four PKK terrorists,” according to a statement carried by the state-run Anadolu news agency. The ministry said the jets struck Wednesday in the Qandil region near the Iraq-Iran border.
The PKK’s decades-long violent insurgency against the Turkish state has left more than 40,000 dead on both sides. Turkey, the United States and the European Union all label the Kurdish militant group a terrorist organization.