Iraq deploys forces along Turkey border to thwart PKK infiltration
MİDDLE EAST

Iraq deploys forces along Turkey border to thwart PKK infiltration

The move, which was ordered by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, will see a force of border guards affiliated with the interior ministry sent to the border

News Service Yeni Şafak

Iraq will deploy border guards to its northern border with Turkey in order to stop infiltration attempts by terrorists from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The move, which was ordered by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and approved by Iraq’s National Security Council, will see a force of border guards affiliated with the interior ministry sent to the border.

Speaking to Yeni Şafak daily about details surrounding the decision, Turkey’s envoy to Baghdad Fatih Yıldız pointed that Iraqi PM Abadi had mentioned during his last visit to Turkey that his country is willing to increase the presence of forces linked to the interior ministry along the border.

During his visit to Turkey back in August, the premier said that the two countries share the same ideas on border security.

Turkish President receives Iraqi Premier in Ankara
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Turkish President receives Iraqi Premier in Ankara

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at presidential complex in Ankara, Turkey on August 14, 2018.

Abadi’s visit to Turkey ushered in a new era

After meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara, the two leaders vowed to improve bilateral relations that would usher in a new era in Turkish- Iraqi ties.

“We have come to a mutual agreement to be in full cooperation against the terrorists,” Erdoğan said at a joint press conference with al-Abadi in Ankara.

The neutralization of senior PKK terrorist and so-called Sinjar responsible İsmail Özden is thought to have been the result of an intelligence tip that came from the Iraqi government following Abadi’s visit.

‘We will not allow PKK attacks’

“We share the same views on border security. We are against any group using Iraqi territories to attack Turkey and other neighboring countries,” the prime minister said during his visit to Ankara.

Ovaköy border gate

Details regarding the Ovaköy Border Gate that will directly link Turkey to Baghdad via a 570-kilometer (354-mile) highway are expected to emerge after a delegation conducted a detailed analysis earlier this month.

The border gate will play an important role in improving trade ties between Turkey and Iraq and will be a focal point of unity on the border with Syria.

The strategic border gate, an alternative to the Ibrahim Khalil (Habur) border crossing located between Turkey and the Kurdish region in northern Iraq, will cut off the weapons supply of the PKK terror group.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States. The PKK has been conducting armed violence in the southeastern part of Turkey since 1984. More than 40,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the three-decade long conflict.

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