Close button
The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter WhatsApp

Erdogan meets Iraqi president as Turkey launches strikes on PKK


In this handout photograph taken and released by The Turkish Presidential Press Service on May 28, 2019, President of Iraq Barham Salih (C) and his wife Sarbagh Salih (L) are welcomed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and his wife Emine Erdogan (REAR)at Vahdettin Pavilion in Istanbul. (Photo by HANDOUT / TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP PHOTO / TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met his Iraqi counterpart Barham Saleh on Tuesday while the Turkish military launched an operation against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.

The two leaders held talks in Istanbul before attending a Ramadan dinner together.

A picture on the Turkish presidency’s official website showed Erdogan and Saleh gathering around a round table together with their wives.

The visit came as the Turkish military launched an air and ground offensive in mountainous northern Iraq against the hideouts of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.

Special forces and combat drones were also involved in the offensive which started late on Monday, the defence ministry said in a statement.

The operation aims at eradicating “caves and shelters used by terrorist groups”, it said.

Turkey and the PKK have been engaged in fierce fighting since a fragile ceasefire broke down in 2015. The insurgency has claimed tens of thousands of lives since the group took up arms in 1984.

Turkey allowed imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to meet his lawyers this month for the first time in eight years.

Some 3,000 Kurdish prisoners on Sunday ended a months-long hunger strike against Ocalan’s prison conditions after the militant leader urged them to stop it, through the lawyers he met in his prison island near Istanbul.

Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

No comments yet