Iraq condemns Turkish aggression on kurds

Baghdad: (South News) Aug 22:- One week after a Turkish bombing in a mountainous area in northern Iraq, in which 40 kurdish shepherds were killed and tens wounded, Iraq today strongly denounced it as a crime and aggression.

Turkey admitted Friday that it had launched an operation against "Kurdish rebels" on Tuesday, August 15  in northern Iraq but said it was investigating claims that civilians were killed in the strike. But PKK sources had denied that there were any "People's Defense Units" present at the bombed location.

The forced Turkish acknowledgement  came only in reponse to the release of names of those killed and today the government of Iraq officially spoke to the world media.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said the bombing by Turkish fighter-planes of the villages of "Lulan, Khazna and Khnira in Sidkan area" in northern Iraq was part of a "repeated episode"  but this time it was only coincidental with a United States and British bombing,  from the same air base base in  Turkey, on the same day.

The Iraqi News agency (INA) had reported from Baghdad that "seven pairs of U.S and U.K warplanes" on the same day overflew " the provinces of Duhok, Arbil and Nineveh from Turkish airspace, backed by an AWACS, " and had bombed "service and civilian installations".

Today, the official spokesman restated Iraq's strong condemnation of  violations by Turkish air force  and "of Iraq's sovereignty, territorial integrity and airspace".He labelled hostile acts as contravening United Nations Charter  and "good-neighbourliness". He said that it contradicts Turkish claims of respect of  "the region's stability and security"..

The spokesman stressed Iraq rejected "the flimsy pretexts"  by the Turkish government and noted that "tracking down anti-government elements"   in no way entitled Turkey to bomb. He said the  recurrence of such "flagrant acts of aggression" and  warned of the consequences for Turkey's "double-standard policy" as said it was a total cover up for   U.S hostile intentions.

In conclusion he said that Iraq reserved full right to respond to this aggression at an "opportune time and place" and said the Iraqi government holds Turkey fully responsible for "the consequences of this crime."