Iraq calls on Turkey to stop violating sovereignty in meeting with France

Iraqi President Barham Salih called on Turkey to stop violating Iraq's sovereignty in a meeting with visiting French Defence Minister Florence Parly, his press office said in a statement on Thursday.

Turkey's violations of Iraqi sovereignty through military incursions must stop, Al Arabiya cited Salih as saying. Ankara's actions violated international law and undermined good neighbourly relations, he said.

Parly arrived in Baghdad on Thursday for a trip that formed part of the France’s ongoing commitment to the fight against terrorism and its support for Iraq’s sovereignty, Al Arabiya said, citing the French Defence Ministry.

The minister said that her country was ready to provide training, munitions and logistical support to Iraqi security forces, Iran-based Press TV reported on Thursday.

Salih and Parly discussed ways for further development of Iraqi-French relations and expansion of cooperation in all fields, especially security and military capabilities, and exchanged viewpoints on regional and international events, it said.

Turkey launched a joint air and ground offensive into various regions of northern Iraq in June targeting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in response to increased attacks against Turkish military forces. Turkey regularly targets the PKK in operations in northern Iraq and on home soil.

On Aug. 11, the Iraqi military said an air strike in northern Iraq killed two members of Iraq’s border guard and their driver in the Erbil governate, calling the incident a "blatant Turkish drone attack".

In response to the incident, Iraq cancelled a scheduled visit by Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and Baghdad summoned the country’s ambassador to hand him a letter of protest. Since June, Iraqi senior officials have repeatedly called for Turkey to stop its cross-border operations.

On Thursday, Akar stated that Turkish forces will continue their military operations in northern Iraq until “the last terrorist is neutralised”.

"We're going to destroy the (terrorist) threat there; that's our goal," Akar told Turkish state news agency Anadolu in an interview. “There is no retreat. This is President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s instruction.”

He added: "Apart from that, we do not have a problem with our Iraqi brothers. We are already discussing the operations with the Iraqi administration and the efforts to neutralise terrorists there."

The PKK, designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has been fighting an insurgency against the Turkish state for four decades.