Iraq Demands Turkey, Iran Stop Attacking Kurdish Forces in the North

Iraq summons envoys, issued 'strongly-worded memorandum'

After attacks througbout Wednesday, Iraq has summoned the ambassadors from Turkey and Iraq and issued them a “strongly-worded memorandum” to condemn their ongoing offensive against the Kurdish PKK in far northern Iraq.

The Iraqi officials say they view the offensive as an affront to Iraqi sovereignty. Turkey had airlifted troops into the area earlier this week and launched the offensive, dubbed Operation Claw-Tiger, against the PKK. Turkey maintains that the attacks are legal.

Turkey-based PKK separatists have had a presence in Iraq for years, and Turkey attacks somewhat regularly. Iraq’s complaints rarely mean they’ll actually do anything to try to stop them.

Iran’s involvement is something new, however. Though Iran has its own problems with Kurdish separatists they’ve rarely gone after such groups in Iraq, and this seems to be the first direct participation in a Turkish-led offensive.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.