Turkey urges Iraq to cooperate against Kurdish militants

Turkey urged Iraq to cooperate against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, saying that Ankara will continue its cross-border operations if Baghdad continues to ignore the presence of outlawed groups in its country.

Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) have been engaged in a decades-long war which has caused more than 40,000 deaths and Ankara regularly targets PKK in operations on home soil and in northern Iraq, where the armed group’s headquarters is located.

“Our country is ready to cooperate with Iraq on this issue. However, in the event PKK presence in Iraq is overlooked, our country is determined to take the measures it deems necessary for its border security no matter where it may be,” Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement on Wednesday.

It is Baghdad's responsibility to take measures against the militants whose presence also threatens Iraq, he said.

Turkey's statement came after Iraqi authorities cancelled the Turkish defence minister’s visit to the country and summoned the Turkish ambassador after a Turkish drone attack killed two high-ranking Iraqi officers on Tuesday.