Iraq warns Turkey on air violations
Published Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Iraq warned Turkey against violating Iraqi airspace and territory on Tuesday, claiming its radars had repeatedly detected Turkish warplanes in its airspace.
"The Iraqi government condemns these violations to Iraq's airspace and sovereignty, and warns Turkey against any violations of Iraq's airspace and territory," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in statement after a cabinet meeting, adding that the nation would file a complaint against Turkey at the UN Security Council.
Turkey routinely bombs positions in northern Iraq it believes are used as hideouts by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is fighting for greater Kurdish autonomy in southeastern Turkey.
But the bombings of Iraqi territory are carried without the consultation or approval of Baghdad's central authorities. Iraq has been struggling to exert sovereignty over its territory after a nine-year US occupation ravaged the country and left it in ruins.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi government on Tuesday urged its citizens in strife-hit Syria, mainly refugees from their country's own violence, to return home because of "increasing attacks" on them.
The number of Iraqi refugees in Syria exploded to over one million as violence and targeted killings in Iraq reached their peak in 2006 and 2007, making Iraqis the largest foreign population in Syria, according to Syrian regime and Iraqi estimates.
"Iraqis are guests who live temporarily in Syria and the Iraqi government calls on them to return to the country," government spokesman Ali Dabbagh said.
He urged "Iraqis in Syria to return to the country after an increase in attacks against them."
(Reuters, AFP, Al-Akhbar)