Turkey, Middle East

Turkey's security council backs Iraq's Kirkuk operation

National Security Council advises closing airspace for flights to northern Iraq

Merve Aydoğan,Kübra Chohan   | 16.10.2017
Turkey's security council backs Iraq's Kirkuk operation

Ankara

By Merve Aydogan and Kubra Chohan

ANKARA

A meeting of the National Security Council on Monday backed Baghdad’s operation in Kirkuk, the council said in a statement.

Referring to the meeting of Turkey’s senior military and political figures, the statement said: “Our sensitivity and anticipation of the central Iraqi administration’s operation in Kirkuk… and the aim to establish the city according to its historical depth has been particularly emphasized.” 

The council called for the federal government in Baghdad to take control of Ibrahim Khalil border crossing, also known as Habur, between Turkey and the Kurdish region in northern Iraq and proposed closing Turkish airspace for flights heading to or departing from Kurdish territory in Iraq. 

Ankara offers cooperation to Baghdad to end PKK in Iraq 

Late Sunday, Iraqi forces began moving in on the Kurdish held city of Kirkuk.

Last month, the Kurdish Regional Government held an illegitimate referendum across northern Iraq that resulted in a vote for independence from Baghdad. The vote was opposed by Baghdad as well as Turkey and the U.S.

The statement said the council also evaluated Baghdad's steps to establish constitutional sovereignty across Iraq.

Chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the council also reiterated Turkey’s support for Iraq’s territorial integrity.

Late Sunday, Iraqi forces began moving in on the Kurdish held city of Kirkuk.

Last month, the Kurdish Regional Government held an illegitimate referendum across northern Iraq that resulted in a vote for independence from Baghdad. The vote was opposed by Baghdad as well as Turkey and the U.S.

The council also evaluated the role of Turkish troops as per Astana agreement, to ensure lasting peace in Syria.

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