Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 August 2020

Turkish soldier killed in cross-border shelling near Iran

Ankara did not say who was responsible for the shelling

Turkey's Defence Minister Hulusi Akar speaks to a soldier while visiting Turkish troops on the border with Iraq. AP
Turkey's Defence Minister Hulusi Akar speaks to a soldier while visiting Turkish troops on the border with Iraq. AP

A Turkish soldier was killed and two others were wounded in southeast Turkey as they came under fire from the Iranian side of the border, Defence Ministry said on Wednesday in a statement that did not say who had shot at its soldiers.

The soldiers were conducting reconnaissance and surveillance mission at the border town of Yuksekova in Turkey's south-east province of Hakkari, the ministry said.

Turkey has been fighting against Kurdish militant group PKK along its borders with Syria and Iraq for several decades.

The news came as Baghdad again demanded Turkey halt a major air and ground operation against the PKK in northern Iraq.

Despite official protests from Baghdad, Turkey launched operation "Claw-Tiger" into the mountainous terrain of northern Iraq where the PKK reportedly has outposts.

Late on Tuesday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein demanded that Turkey halts its operations.

Mr Hussein called for “the necessity to stop such violations from the Turkish side, considering that it violates international covenants and laws,” according to a statement from the ministry.

He “affirmed the importance of respecting state sovereignty by neighbouring countries and pursuing diplomatic channels to confront challenges and resolve crises.”

The ministry summoned the Turkish ambassador, Fatih Yildiz, twice last week over the operation.

“The Iraqi government confirms that Turkey has caused heightened insecurity in the border area that is shared between us," said a statement.

"We affirm our categorical rejection of these violations."

Updated: June 24, 2020 05:28 PM

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