GeriGündem Iraq protests Iran air raid against PEJAK targets on its territory
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Iraq protests Iran air raid against PEJAK targets on its territory

Iraq protests Iran air raid against PEJAK targets on its territory
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ISTANBUL - Iraq on Tuesday summoned the Iranian ambassador to protest an air raid targeting a breakaway faction of the terror organization PKK in the country's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, the foreign ministry said. (UPDATED)

"The foreign ministry presented an official letter of protest to the Iranian ambassador in Baghdad over Iranian forces bombardment of border villages on Iraqi territory," it was quoted by AFP as saying in a statement. 

Iranian helicopters attacked PEJAK targets in northern Iraq in a cross-border raid last week, the first time Iran has used aircraft against the breakaway faction of the terror organization PKK.

The statement went on to demand an "immediate halt to these sorts of violations which continue to have negative repercussions on relations between the two countries."

"While Iraq understands the Iranian authority’s motivation to secure its borders, it will not be achieved by unilateral actions, but by bilateral contacts and constructive dialogue."

The Iraqi Kurdish regional administration also lodged a protest following the raid in which no one was reportedly killed or wounded.

The raid came a week after 26 people were killed in a fierce gun battle between Iranian police and the PEJAK, the PKK's Iranian wing, near the Iraqi border. Eighteen of those killed in the April 24 clash were Iranian policemen and eight were PEJAK members.

Iran and Turkey have been long fighting against the terrorist movements operated by both the PEJAK and the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist group by Ankara and much of the international community, including the EU and the United States.

Turkey has launched numerous cross-border air strikes on PKK bases in Iraq's mountainous north.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said late on Monday that his country would protect its airspace from incursions by countries seeking to root out terrorist groups.

"We won’t allow Iraq to be used as a base to attack neighboring countries, and we won’t allow any interference in our internal affairs," he was quoted by AP as saying in a speech at the Diplomatic Academy in Paris.

 

Maliki also vowed not to allow groups to use Iraq as a base from which to strike neighboring countries.

 

"We won’t allow Iraq to be used as a base for any terrorist organization," al-Maliki added.

 

 

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