Iraqi deputies call for expulsion of PKK with Ankara's help

ANADOLU AGENCY
BAGHDAD
Published 30.10.2017 20:10

Iraqi lawmakers of various political orientations on Monday called on the government to expel the PKK terrorist group from Iraq through coordination with Turkey.

The appeal comes two weeks after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) against involving the PKK in the ongoing dispute over the northern city of Kirkuk – a move he said would be tantamount to "a declaration of war" against Baghdad.

"Iraq should coordinate with Turkey to expel the PKK from Iraqi territory," said Haider al-Fawadi, a member of parliament for Iraq's Reform Bloc, a component of the Shiite National Alliance, which holds 180 seats in the 328-member parliament.

"The Iraqi government must exert its authority throughout Iraq so it does not give terrorist organizations the opportunity to threaten the country's security," Fawadi said. "The PKK has entered Iraq illegally. We must coordinate with Turkey to expel them."

"This terrorist organization is committing dubious acts in Iraq that could lead to civil war," he asserted, calling for "serious steps" to be taken against the PKK in coordination with Turkey.

Hassan Khalati, a member of parliament for Iraq's National Wisdom Movement, a component of the National Alliance, which holds 10 parliamentary seats, also called on the government to take steps against the PKK "and eject it from Iraq, just as it did with the People's Mujahideen of Iran," which is also known as the Mujahideen al-Khalq.

Under a 2016 agreement between Baghdad and the U.N., 280 members of the Mujahideen al-Khalq, who had been staying at Liberty Camp near Baghdad International Airport, were deported to EU countries.

"We reject the presence of terrorist groups, which operate against neighboring states, in Iraqi territory," Khalati said. "The PKK has recently played a negative role in Kirkuk through its armed presence in opposition to the federal authorities."

The PKK currently uses mountainous parts of northern Iraq as a base to carry out attacks in Turkey. According to unofficial reports, the PKK maintains an armed presence in the Sinjar district west of Mosul, where it took advantage of the chaos caused by Daesh's 2014 onslaught in northern and western Iraq.

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