Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Analysis: What Are Turkey's Aspirations in Iraq?

Fri 19 Jun 2020 | 05:13 AM

A Turkish official told Reuters, Thursday, about Turkey's intention to build more temporary military bases in northern Iraq, after it intensified its strikes targeting Kurdish fighters there. 

The statements raised many questions about the map of the Turkish violation of Iraqi lands and the nature of the ambitions of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regime in the Arab country.

Egypt Condemns Turkish, Iranian Interference Into Iraq

The Turkish official revealed that the Turkish plan aims for what he called the establishment of temporary bases in the region.

Turkish ground forces began to penetrate into the Kurdistan Region of Iraq more than 10 kilometers deep, near the border area of ​​Batouf, which is in the town of Zakho in the far north of the Dohuk governorate.

The Turkish ground incursion was preceded by intense air and artillery shelling in eight border villages in Haftnin, near the mountainous barrier separating Baghdad and Ankara, which caused the displacement of families from the villages, and caused material losses to the farmers' fields in those villages.

The Turkish Ministry of Defense had previously announced that the incursion came after a series of raids deep into the territory of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, taking place within the framework of the so-called "Tiger Claw" operations, which target sites attributed to the PKK.

Turkish Bases Map in Iraq

Turkey maintains more than 10 temporary bases already in northern Iraq, while Ankara seeks to establish more bases as justification for its war against Kurdish fighters.

[caption id="attachment_132961" align="aligncenter" width="838"]Analysis: What Are Turkey's Aspirations in Iraq? Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters are pictured in Sinjar, northwest Iraq, on March 11, 2015. Asmaa Waguih/Reuters Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters are pictured in Sinjar, northwest Iraq- File Photo[/caption]

The areas of Turkish bases spread in the Iraqi Kurdistan region extend along the borders, starting from the Khabur crossing to the Suran region.

In 2014, with the advent of ISIS, Turkey established bases in Bashiqa, Suran, and Golan Fort, along with its bases in Erbil, including military headquarters near the Qandil Mountains.

The establishment of more military bases and an increase in the number of soldiers and forces in northern Iraq aim at securing what Turkey claims to be its strategic interests, most importantly the confrontation of the Kurdish expansion in Iraq and Syria.

The defeat of the PKK is a long-term goal that Turkey says it has been pursuing for a long time, but observers believe that Ankara is looking for more than weakening Kurdish fighters, which is to consolidate the Turkish presence in the Arab country.

A scenario that looks identical to what is happening in Syria, and what may happen in Libya too.

In the meantime, Egypt stresses its complete rejection of any interference affecting the sovereignty of any brotherly Arab countries, taking into account the consequences of those actions in deepening the instability in the region.

Moreover, Cairo calls on all parties to respect the sovereignty of Baghdad and to distance it from any international or regional conflicts that hinder achieving the aspirations of the brotherly government and the people of Iraq for stability and development.

On the other hand, Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy said that his country expects Iraq to cooperate and agree in combating the PKK organization.

Turkey announced that it will deploy special forces in northern the Arab country as part of a ground operation against the PKK with the support of the Air Force and artillery.

“Operation ‘Tiger Claw’ has started. Our Special Forces heroes are in Haftin,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a tweet on Twitter, without specifying the number of troops deployed.

The statement added that “Our commandos, who are supported by combat helicopters and drones, were transported by our air force.”

On Tuesday, Baghdad summoned the Turkish ambassador to Iraq, Fateh Yildiz, to protest against the Turkish aerial bombardment of the border villages and mountain ranges located near the town of Haji Omran in the Erbil governorate in northern Iraq, where he was presented with a protest note.

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