Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Iraq and Turkey escalate diplomatic dispute over deadly attack

A dispute between Iraq and Turkey over a recent deadly attack in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region escalated at an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday. (https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/UN-envoy-Iraq-and-Turkey-ready-for-joint-probe-17330764.php) Iraq’s foreign minister demanded the withdrawal of all Turkish troops from his country, while Turkey’s deputy ambassador said his government will keep pursuing fighters it considers terrorists who take refuge in Iraq. The Iraqi government sought the meeting after the July 20 artillery attack that killed nine Iraqi tourists and injured 33 other people. Its foreign minister, Fuad Hussein, said the government has “proofs” that Turkish armed forces were responsible. Turkey has denied it was behind the attack and blamed fighters from the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization by Ankara and the West. It has for decades waged an insurgency against the government in Ankara and maintains hideouts in Iraq’s mountainous north. At the start of the Security Council meeting, the U.N. special envoy for Iraq had said Turkey and Iraq were ready for a joint investigation into the artillery shelling at the Parkha resort in the Zakho district of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region. Diplomats said chances of the council approving a resolution demanding the withdrawal of Turkish forces from Iraq are slim.

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