Iraq denies Turkish troops entering northern Iraq

Source: Xinhua| 2018-03-26 01:14:34|Editor: yan
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BAGHDAD, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi military on Sunday denied that Turkish troops have entered Sinjar in northern Iraq after the Turkish president earlier announced the beginning of operations against outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the area.

"The security situations in Nineveh (province), Sinjar and the border area (with Turkey) are under the control of Iraqi forces," the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement.

It said that reports about crossing the Iraqi border by Turkish troops are "not true."

Meanwhile, a statement by Raid al-Gurwi, the commander of the government-backed paramilitary Hashd Shaabi brigades in northern Iraq, said "there is no Turkish military operation in Sinjar and the areas around it."

The denial of the Iraqi military came hours after the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the beginning of operations by Turkish troops to clear the mountainous area of Iraqi Kurdistan region and Sinjar area, some 70 km west of Mosul, from PKK militants.

Turkish forces frequently carried out anti-terror operations, airstrikes and artillery bombardment targeting the positions of the PKK militants, with focus on Qandil mountainous region, where the group's main base is located.