Turkey denies responsibility for deadly Kurdistan shelling


ANKARA: Turkey denied involvement Wednesday in deadly artillery fire that killed nine people, including children, in a park in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region.
Baghdad had blamed Turkey, which is engaged in a cross-border offensive.
But Ankara hinted it believed the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) may have been responsible.
“Turkiye is against all kinds of attacks targeting civilians. Turkiye carries out its fight against terrorism in accordance with international law,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The victims included Iraqi tourists who had come to the northern Iraqi hill village of Parakh in Zakho district, according to head of the region Mushir Bashir.
The artillery strikes killed nine and wounded 23, Zakho health official Amir Ali told reporters. He had previously put the toll at eight dead, including two children.
Earlier, in an unusually strong rebuke, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi warned Turkey that Baghdad reserves the “right to retaliate”, calling the artillery fire a “flagrant violation” of sovereignty — a line echoed by Iraq’s Kurdish administration.
Without mentioning the PKK — deemed a terrorist group by Ankara and its Western allies — the Turkish Foreign Ministry alluded to its possible responsibility.
“It is considered that such attacks which aim at innocent civilians and are assessed to be organised by the terrorist organisation, target our country’s just and determined stance in the fight against terrorism,” its statement said.
“Turkiye is ready to take all steps to reveal the truth.
“We invite Iraqi government officials not to make statements under the influence of the rhetoric and propaganda of the treacherous terrorist organisation and to cooperate in bringing the real perpetrators of this tragic incident into light.”





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