Turkey, Middle East

Turkey pledges help to rid Iraq’s Sinjar of terrorists

Visiting Turkish defense chief says terrorists will be eliminated via cooperation with regional administration, Baghdad

Sarp Ozer   | 20.01.2021
Turkey pledges help to rid Iraq’s Sinjar of terrorists

ANKARA 

Turkey is closely following developments in Iraq's Sinjar district, the Turkish defense minister said, stressing that Ankara is ready to support clearing the region of terrorists.

The Turkey-Iraq and Turkey-Erbil cooperation will pave the way for important developments in fighting terrorism in the coming period, Hulusi Akar said at the Consulate General of Turkey in Erbil late Tuesday on his contacts and meetings in Iraq.

"We can say that we are determined to wipe out the terrorists as a result of our cooperation with both the regional administration and Baghdad," the defense chief asserted.

Akar went on saying that Ankara, Baghdad and Erbil have agreed on many issues as the sides will continue to work together for taking necessary measures towards security in Turkey and Iraq.

Stating that they will provide support for the reconstruction of the Iraqi army, he said: "We also stated in our meetings that we will strive to share our knowledge and experience in NATO with our Iraqi brothers. We will conduct joint training and exercises."

Mentioning that Turkey has information the terrorists did not leave the Sinjar region completely, Akar added that the Baghdad administration stated that it continues to work closely on this issue.

"We told the parties that Turkey is ready to provide support for eliminating terrorists in Iraq's Sinjar region if they seek any help or support," he said.

On Monday, Turkey’s top defense official and the chief of staff arrived in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on a two-day official visit.

Akar and Yasar Guler met with senior Iraqi officials, including President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, and Defense Minister Jouma Anad.

The Turkish military officials later visited Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), late Monday.

Akar met with KRG's Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, current leader Nechirvan Barzani, and former leader Masoud Barzani separately on Tuesday.

After his official meetings ended in Iraq, Akar returned to Turkey on late Tuesday.

Iraqi security forces started to implement a deployment plan on Dec. 1 in the center of the Sinjar district of Iraq's Nineveh province to enhance stability and security in the area and enable displaced locals to return home.

The Sinjar deal, inked under the auspices of the UN on the status of the region, seeks to clear the region of the PKK terrorists.

The PKK terror group managed to establish a foothold in Sinjar in 2014 under the pretext of protecting the Ezidi community from Daesh/ISIS terrorists.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

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