A Turkish preparatory delegation is visiting the U.S. on May 5 ahead of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Washington on May 16-17, when he will meet U.S. President Donald Trump. The delegation is composed of Chief of General Staff Org. Hulusi Akar, Chief of Intelligence Hakan Fidan and presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın. Ankara and Washington want to restore ties, which have deteriorated since a failed military coup attempt in July 2016 and disagreements over U.S. support for a Kurdish militia group fighting Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) in Syria. Turkey sees the group as an extension of the outlawed PKK.
According to a draft, if passed by the Iraqi parliament, all foreign armed groups that are posing a potential threat to the security of the neighboring countries need to be banned. Shakhawan Abdullah, a Kurdish member of the Iraqi parliament, told BasNews that a draft is expected to be discussed in the Iraqi parliament on Thursday, according to which “no groups or parties are allowed to operate within Iraq and use its soil against another country”. Referring to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah said the presence of the party in Sinjar will constitute major issues for Iraq, Kurdistan Region and Turkey, noting that Turkey may continue its military operations on Sinjar. He continued to say that PKK has turned Sinjar into another Qandil, referring to the party’s main headquarter located in Mount Qandil in northern Kurdistan Region, stating that PKK is using the area against Turkey. He added that PKK has posed a threat to the security of the region
Turkish fighter jets bombarded the district of Amedi in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region on Sunday for the third consecutive day targeting suspected positions of the PKK. Turkish warplanes have targeted several villages in Sangasar and Warte districts, about 130 kilometers east of Erbil. Warte Mayor Muslih Zrar told Rudaw that Turkish fighter jets intensively bombed Bokriskiyan village on Sunday, adding that fortunately it did not result in the loss of lives or material. The two districts are close to areas in Qandil Mountains under the control of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been engaged in a three-decade-long war against the Turkish state.
Turkish warplanes have carried out airstrikes against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in the Avaşin-Basyan and Zap regions of northern Iraq. According to a statement released from Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), weapon launching positions and shelters belonging to the group were destroyed in the airstrikes carried out on April 21. The TSK also said that two hand-made explosives were destroyed in the security operations carried out in the eastern province of Bitlis.
Firat News Agency released footage showing damage caused by jets shelling a cemetery for fallen PKK fighters in the Qandil Mountains. A PKK member TITLE: Turkish jets continue shelling suspected PKK bases in Kurdistan Region
said the bombardment showed the “weakness” of the Turkish government, adding that “the cemeteries of martyrs are our red line. They will pay for this”. Turkey resumed the shelling of suspected PKK positions inside the Kurdistan Region in July 2015 after a two-year ceasefire between the Turkish military and the PKK came to an end. Turkish warplanes have continuously shelled the villages and areas in the Qandil Mountains in the Kurdistan Region. The bombardments have so far killed 12 civilians in the region and caused the evacuation of several villages. The three-decade long conflict between Turkey and the PKK – which demands the creation of an independent Kurdish state – has claimed more than 40,000 lives.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday that the 2016 Human Rights report on Turkey, which was released Friday by the U.S. Department of State, included “unacceptable claims and inaccurate descriptions”. “It is noteworthy that the report does not mention at all the role of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in the July 15 coup attempt and the presence of FETO leaders in the U.S.”, a statement read. Led by U.S.-based FetullahGulen and his terrorist group FETO, last year’s failed coup left at least 248 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured. The report refers to the terrorist group as “the Gulen movement”. “The [Turkish] government ascribed responsibility for the attempt to the FethullahGulen movement, which it defined as a terrorist organization”, the report read. The Foreign Ministry also criticized the report’s description of the fight against PKK terrorist organization as “a conflict between the government and PKK members”, saying this description was “totally unacceptable”. “At a time when we are facing unprecedented terror threats against the existence of our state and nation, the inaccurate reflection of our reasonable fight against FETO, PKK, [far-left] DHKP-C, and Daeshhas left us deeply disappointed” the ministry said, adding the report was not based on objectivity. It added that Turkey would continue its fight against terrorism, and to work towards further enhancing fundamental rights and freedoms. Turkey has been fighting terrorist organizations on multiple fronts whether at home (FETO, PKK) or abroad, in Syria and Iraq (Daesh and PKK allies).