A Turkish soldier on patrol close to the border with Iraq in October 2011
A Turkish soldier patrols close to the border with Iraq in 2011. Iraq's government has warned Ankara against "any violations" of its territory and airspace, and instructed the foreign ministry to register a complaint at the UN Security Council. © Mustafa Ozer - AFP/File
A Turkish soldier on patrol close to the border with Iraq in October 2011
AFP
Last updated: July 17, 2012

Iraq warns Turkey against violations of territory

Iraq's government on Tuesday warned Ankara against "any violations" of its territory and airspace, and instructed the foreign ministry to register a complaint at the UN Security Council.

"We are warning Turkey against any violations or breakdowns of the airspace and land of Iraq," government spokesman Ali Dabbagh said in an statement.

"The cabinet directed the foreign ministry to file a complaint in the Security Council."

Turkish fighter jets have on multiple occasions in past months bombed Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, targeting Kurdish rebels that have rear bases there. Turkey's military has also shelled what it says are rebel bases.

Dabbagh's remarks were the latest in a cooling of ties between Iraq and Turkey, with Baghdad also warning Ankara on Sunday to stop accepting "illegal" transfers of crude oil from the autonomous Kurdish region of north Iraq or risk damaging bilateral ties.

A Kurdish official said this month that Iraqi Kurdistan had begun sending oil produced in its three-province region out of Iraq to Turkey so that the crude could be refined and then brought back as oil products.

Ties between Iraq and Turkey, which had been improving, have cooled considerably since December, particularly over Turkey's refusal to extradite Iraq's fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who is currently on trial in absentia on charges he ran a death squad.

The extradition spat added to a deterioration of ties between the two countries, with Iraq summoning Ankara's envoy to Baghdad twice in a single month to complain of various incidents.

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