Though Turkey already had a travel warning for its citizens urging them against going to ISIS-held parts of western Iraq, the foreign ministry today issued a statement urging against travel across Iraq, including areas totally unaffected by the ISIS violence like Basra.
Though officially the expansion was related to concerns about threats from ISIS, they also cited “declarations encouraging violence” against Turkish companies among Iraqi Shi’ite groups in recent weeks. Tensions between Iraq and Turkey are soaring since last week’s cross-border deployment by Turkish troops into Nineveh.
Interestingly enough, the statement also explicitly excluded three provinces, all in the far north, parts of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Though Turkey is actually attacking PKK sites within those provinces, they are generally on good terms with the KRG.
The Turkish troops which entered Nineveh Friday are meant to train KRG forces to fight ISIS, while Iraq’s central government insists they never approved the deployment and have urged NATO and the UN Security Council to help resolve the situation.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Palestinian Authority Threatens to Cut All Gaza Funds - August 21st, 2017
- Report: ISIS Attacks Grew in 2016, Despite Shrinking Territory - August 21st, 2017
- Trump Promises to 'Deal With Pakistan' on Afghan War - August 21st, 2017
- Trump Declares Open-Ended War in Afghanistan - August 21st, 2017
- Trump's Pentagon to Spend Nearly $500 Million on Gitmo Construction - August 21st, 2017