Turkey has not carried out any civilian-targeted operations in Iraq’s Dohuk area, where a strike killed eight people and injured 23, and Iraqi authorities must not fall for this “trap” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday.

Turkey denied reports by Iraqi authorities and state media that it carried out an airstrike on a mountain resort in the northern Dohuk area on Wednesday.

Iraq summoned Ankara’s ambassador to Baghdad over the incident, and the government announced it would recall its charge d’affaires in Ankara. 

Cavusoglu told TRT Haber that Turkish military actions in Iraq have always been directed at the illegal Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and that the assault on Dohuk was likewise carried out by terrorists.

Turkey frequently conducts air attacks in northern Iraq and has dispatched commandos to help its offensives as part of a long-running fight in Iraq and Syria against PKK and YPG insurgents. Both are considered terrorist organizations by Ankara.

Cavusoglu said that rumors accusing Turkey for the incident were an attempt by the PKK to stymie Ankara’s counter-terrorism efforts.

“The whole world knows we would never carry out an attack on civilians,” Cavusoglu said, adding that the Turkish military had informed his ministry that Turkey had not carried out such an attack.

“Following this attack, which we believe the (PKK) terrorist organisation carried out, we are ready to hold talks with Iraqi officials. We can cooperate for the curtain of fog to be lifted. Until that is lifted, it is not right to blame Turkey,” he said.

In 1984, the PKK took up weapons against the Turkish state. More than 40,000 people have died in the war, which was formerly centered on southeast Turkey, where the PKK attempted to establish an ethnic homeland.

Dozens of Iraqis gathered outside the Turkish embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday to denounce the incident. The senior UN ambassador to Iraq also criticized it and demanded an inquiry.

While there were demonstrations outside the embassy and other Turkish buildings, there were no complaints of damage or injuries, according to Cavusoglu.

Source: Reuters

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