Turkey did not carry out any attack against civilians in northern Iraq’s Duhok province, the country’s foreign minister said on Thursday following the allegations from Iraq.
“According to information we received from the Turkish Armed Forces, we did not carry out any attack on civilians,” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in a live interview with national broadcaster TRT Haber.
Çavuşoğlu’s remarks came a day after an attack in Duhok’s Zakho district killed eight people.
Turkish FM reacts to Iraq’s statements
In a statement released after Wednesday’s attack, the Turkish Foreign Ministry called on Iraqi government officials not to make statements on the Duhok attack “under the influence of rhetoric and propaganda” of the PKK terrorist organization.
Turkish security sources also denied reports “in support of the terrorist organization PKK,” which claimed the civilians lost their lives due to shelling by Turkish forces.
‘We believe it carried out by terrorist groups’
Çavuşoğlu pledged that Turkey would “cooperate with the Iraqi authorities after the treacherous attack that we believe was carried out by terrorist groups.”
He added that Turkey rejects both official and unofficial statements seeking to link it to the attack.
The PKK’s propaganda in Iraq comes at a time when Turkey is set to launch a new operation against the terror group’s offshoot the YPG/PKK in northern Syria, across the Turkish border, said Çavuşoğlu, urging Iraqi authorities must not fall into the trap of terrorist groups.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union, and the US, and is responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the terrorist PKK’s Syrian branch.
Turkey, said Çavuşoğlu, will continue its fight against terrorism in line with international law, only targeting terrorist groups.
Turkey fights terrorism in accordance with international law
“The whole world knows that Turkey has never carried out an attack on civilians. We continue our fight against terrorism in accordance with international law,” he added.
Denying allegations that protesters entered the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad after the attack, Çavuşoğlu said: “Entering our embassy is out of the question. Iraqi authorities have taken the necessary security measures everywhere. We thank them, too. In front of some of our visa offices, a group of rabble-rousers burned our flag. Apart from that, there was a demonstration in front of our old embassy, and then they dispersed.”
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