Iraq accuses Turkey of the attack while the Turkish Foreign Ministry blames the PKK
July 21 () –
At least nine people have died and 23 have been injured after the bombing carried out this Wednesday by alleged Turkish planes in the surroundings of the town of Zajo, in the semi-autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan, according to local authorities.
The alleged Turkish bombardment, which was aimed at several tourist places in the city of Zajo, would have reached a group of about 200 tourists arriving from the capital, Baghdad, among whom there would also be children, as reported by the chain of Kurdish TV Rudaw.
The mayor of Zajo, Muhsin Bashir, has accused Turkey of carrying out several attacks on the village of Paraj and has claimed that suspected members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were in the vicinity, which could have triggered the bombing.
Likewise, the Prime Minister of Iraq, Mostafá al Kazemi, has denounced that Turkey’s “brutal attack” represents “an explicit and flagrant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty”, before stressing that Baghdad “reserves the right to respond” , as detailed on his Twitter account.
“Once again, the Turkish forces committed an explicit and flagrant violation of the sovereignty of Iraq, and of the
lives and safety of Iraqi citizens (…) Iraq reserves its full right to respond to these attacks and will take all necessary measures to protect its people,” al-Kazemi detailed.
For its part, Turkey has rejected the Iraqi accusations, assuring that it is against all kinds of acts directed at the civilian population, and has assured that it is fighting terrorism “in accordance with international law.”
“These attacks target innocent civilians and are considered to have been organized by the terrorist organization that undermines the just and resolute stance of our country (PKK) in the fight against terrorism,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. .
Likewise, he has urged the country’s authorities not to make statements “under the influence of the rhetoric and the treacherous terrorist organization and to cooperate in bringing to light the true authors of this tragic incident.”
THE UN CALLS FOR A “THROUGH” INVESTIGATION
The UN mission in Iraq (UNAMI) has “strongly condemned the deadly artillery bombardment” produced on Wednesday in Zajo, and has expressed its “deepest condolences” to the families of the victims.
“Civilians are once again suffering the indiscriminate effects of explosive weapons. According to International Law, attacks should not be directed at the civilian population,” outlines a statement released by the organization.
Likewise, UNAMI has stressed that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq “must be respected at all times”, and has called for “an exhaustive investigation” to be carried out to determine the circumstances surrounding the attack.
During her last briefing at the Security Council, the UN special representative for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, urged all parties to end human rights violations “without delay”.
“What are we seeing? Shots and missiles as the new normal for Iraq? It is a very risky way of advancing interests and that further weakens the State of Iraq,” said the United Nations special representative in the country. .
Turkey announced in mid-April the start of a new offensive against the PKK in Iraqi Kurdistan, in northern Iraq, which was described by Baghdad as a “national security threat”, given that the operations were not being coordinated. .
The Turkish Army has also repeatedly carried out military operations against the PKK and its allies in northern Syria since the ceasefire between the Government and the armed group was broken in July 2015.