Iraqi parliament committee visits turbulent Turkey border

Iraqi parliament committee visits turbulent border with Turkey
2 min read
15 June, 2021
The committee, which said last week it wanted Erbil and Baghdad to agree on a plan to stop Turkish incursions, visited the Zakho district of Duhok province.
The Iraq-Turkey border is a flashpoint for clashes between the PKK, the Peshmerga, and Turkey [Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images]

An Iraqi parliament committee for defence visited the border with Turkey on Wednesday, amid deadly fighting between Turkish forces, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Iraqi Kurdistan’s Peshmerga.

The committee, which said last week that it wanted Erbil and Baghdad to agree on a plan to stop Turkish incursions, visited the Zakho district of Duhok province.  

"We have seen Turkish transgressions on points inside the Iraqi borders, and there are new attacks and developments by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) towards the Peshmerga and the border forces," committee head Rida al-Haidar told Iraqi state media

The PKK, a pan-Kurdish rebel group that originated in Kurdish areas of Turkey, has been based in Iraqi Kurdistan for three decades. Turkey regularly carries out operations in Iraqi Kurdistan to fight the PKK, and has set up dozens of bases beyond its border with Iraq. Turkey's last large-scale operation in Iraqi Kurdistan, Claw-Eagle 2, was in February.

Much of the territory the PKK is based in has become a no-go zone, with villagers fleeing their homes in fear of PKK-Turkey clashes.

On June 5, five Peshmerga fighters were killed in what the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Peshmerga ministry said was an ambush by the PKK. The rebel group denied that they had been involved, blaming the deaths on an unexploded mine.

On the same day, Turkey bombed Makhmour refugee camp in northern Iraq, killing three civilians.

A Peshmerga fighter was killed by PKK fire a few days later while the Peshmerga and Iraqi border guards were patrolling, according to a local official. 

Both the KRG and the Iraqi government have called for Turkey to stop its incursions and for the PKK to leave.

The security and defence committee will pass its findings on to Iraq’s prime minister and commander in chief of the armed forces Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Haidar said.