WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 (UPI) — Turkey needs to make sure it’s in close contact with Iraq during its on assault on Kurdish rebels, the U.S. State Department said.
Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said that although Ankara has the right of self-defense in taking on the threat from Kurdish rebels, “we urge Turkey and Iraq to maintain close contact on these issues and to cooperate.”
Turkish officials said there would be no quarter for fighters with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, following attacks on Turkish soldiers in the south of the country.
The Turkish military in statements published by Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman said 100 militants were killed and more than 80 were injured during raids on PKK targets in northern Iraq last week.
Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, warned Ankara that it was out of line after reports surfaced that seven Kurdish civilians were killed during weekend raids.
“The Turkish air raids on the border areas of Kurdistan region that had targeted its citizens have no justification,” he was quoted by the Voices of Iraq news agency as saying.