Iraq MP: Turkey Doesn’t Have Permission to Deploy Large Numbers of Troops Here

Says incursion to hunt PKK members is an 'excuse'

Iraqi MP Abbas Sarout, a member of the nation’s defense committee, told reporters on Friday that the “blatant Turkish incursion” into northern Iraq was unacceptable, and that chasing down PKK members was just “an excuse.”

Sarout says Turkey does not have permission to deploy large numbers of troops into Iraq, and urged the government to take diplomatic measures to protect Iraqi sovereignty.

This has been an ongoing problem for Iraq since the 2003 US occupation, as Turkey has been intermittently coming into the country to hunt Kurds of various stripes ever since. Iraq’s central government has objected, but that’s usually the beginning and end of the exchange. Turkey has reported the latest operations a success, but that’s at most a brief prelude to announcing another operation.

Thirteen Turkish hostages were reported executed in northern Iraq over the weekend, leading Turkish officials to promise to retaliate. They refused to say if the hostages were killed during a botched rescue attempt.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.