Iraqi President Salih calls on Turkey to stop incursions, respect sovereignty

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Iraqi President Barham Salih called on Turkey to stop violating Iraq's sovereignty in a meeting with the French Minister of Defense Florence Parly, the Media Office of the Presidency of the Iraqi Republic said in a statement on Thursday.

Salih said the Turkey's violations of Iraqi sovereignty through military incursions must stop, saying that Ankara's actions violated international law and undermined good neighborly relations.

Parly arrived in Iraq on Thursday for a trip that the ministry said formed part of the country’s ongoing commitment to the fight against terrorism and its support for Iraq’s sovereignty.

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Two high-ranking Iraqi officers were killed recently in a Turkish drone strike, which has set off renewed tensions with Baghdad. It was the first time that members of the regular Iraqi forces had been killed since Turkey launched its operations in autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq.

Turkish strikes into Iraq have increased recently, with Turkey targeting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which it considers a terrorist organization. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait and Jordan have called on Turkey to stop its violations of Iraq's sovereignty.

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In June, Ankara said it would set up more temporary military bases in northern Iraq as part of its stepped up efforts against Kurdish militants. The US and the European Union also consider the PKK a terrorist organization.

Earlier this month, the PKK said it shot down a Turkish helicopter in Iraqi Kurdistan in retaliation for killing one of its commanders.

Turkey regularly attacks PKK militants, both in its mainly Kurdish southeast and in northern Iraq, where the group is based. It has also warned in recent years of a potential ground offensive against PKK bases in Iraq’s Qandil mountains. Since the PKK took up arms against Turkey in 1984, more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict primarily concentrated in southeast Turkey, Reuters reported.

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