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Iran Press TV

Iraq's Kurdistan urges end to Turkey's anti-PKK airstrikes

Iran Press TV

Sat Aug 1, 2015 5:57AM

Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region has called on Turkey to halt its airstrikes against the bases of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on its territory, urging a negotiated settlement to the decades-long Ankara-PKK conflict.

Falah Mustafa Bakir, the head of the Kurdistan regional government's department of foreign relations, made the remarks during a visit to Washington on Friday.

We do not want the Kurdistan region "to be bombarded and we don't believe it will help solve this situation," Mustafa Bakir said, adding, "It will only escalate the tension."

Since last week, Turkey has been carrying out air raids against the PKK bases in Iraq as well as positions purportedly held by ISIL Takfiri militants in Syria after a deadly bomb attack left 32 people dead in the Turkish southwestern town of Suruç, across the border from the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani.

On July 25, Massoud Barzani, the leader of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, spoke to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu on the telephone and "expressed his displeasure with the dangerous level the situation has reached."

The air raids come as Ankara is believed to be one of the main supporters of the foreign-backed militants fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since 2011.

Selahattin Demirtas, the leader of Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), has accused the Turkish government of using its alleged anti-ISIL military campaign as a "cover" to bomb the PKK positions.

Turkey-PKK ceasefire

Elsewhere in his Friday comments, Mustafa Bakir also called on the Turkish administration and the PKK "to go back to the ceasefire," which was declared as null by the group in the wake of Turkey's air offensive.

"We believe that there is no military solution to such kind of problems. The best way forward would be peace and talks," the official added.

The Kurdistan Workers' Party, which has been engaged in militancy in southeastern Turkey for decades in an attempt to gain self-rule, said recently that the shaky truce with Ankara that had stood since 2013 had lost all meaning following Turkey's anti-PKK airstrikes.

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