As part of the Turkish offensive against Iraqi Kurdistan (Iraq), nine civilians died on Wednesday July 20 in a strike that targeted public gardens. Baghdad accuses Ankara and denounces a “flagrant violation” of its national sovereignty. Turkey denies responsibility, blaming the bombing on PKK “terrorists”.

Iraqi authorities have accused Turkey of causing the death of nine Iraqi civilians, including children, in a bombardment on Wednesday July 20, not far from the town of Zakho, in the north-east of the country, near the Turkish border. A tragedy that aggravates tensions between the two neighboring countries.

The attack from Turkey, which also injured around 20 Iraqi Shiite tourists on vacation in Iraqi Kurdistan, is part of the Turkish offensive carried out since April, the fourth since 2019, in the north- eastern Iraq against the Kurdish guerrillas of the PKK, which established its long-standing bases there.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazimi has strongly condemned a “flagrant violation of its sovereignty” by Turkey, accused of carrying out artillery strikes on recreational gardens in the autonomous region of Kurdistan.

And Baghdad, which declared national mourning on Thursday, recalled its charge d’affaires in Ankara and demanded the withdrawal of Turkish forces from its territory, indicated the Iraqi Kurdish site Rudaw.

“Without evidence”
Turkey has dismissed Iraqi accusations, blaming the strikes on the PKK, Turkish daily Sözcü reports:

“This is an attack carried out by the terrorists [the PKK], but the Iraqi authorities immediately and without proof accused Turkey.”
Ankara is counting in its offensive in Iraq on the tacit support of the Iraqi Kurdistan regional government, led by the Barzani clan, which maintains very close economic ties with Ankara and opposes the PKK, which it sees as a political rival.

The central authorities in Baghdad, on the other hand, regularly condemn Turkish incursions and the construction of military bases in the region, deploring a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

Several Iraqi Shiite groups gathered overnight in Baghdad, notably in front of the Turkish embassy, ​​chanting slogans hostile to Ankara and burning Turkish flags, the daily Cumhuriyet said.


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