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Iraq demands apology from Turkey for attack on Sulaymaniyah Airport: PO

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Bagdad: Iraq called on Turkey to formally apologize for what Baghdad believes was Ankara’s terrorist attack on the Sulaymaniyah airport in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, the president’s office said on Saturday.

Sulaymaniyah’s civil aviation authority said that an explosion and a subsequent fire occurred near the city’s international airport on Friday, resulting in no damage or casualties. The blast was allegedly caused by a Turkish drone strike, the Al Hadath broadcaster reported, citing a source. Commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, Mazloum Abdi, could have been in the airport’s vicinity at the time of the incident.

“While condemning these flagrant attacks on Iraq we reiterate that there is no legal justification that allows Turkey to continue terrorizing peaceful and civilian populations under the pretext of the presence of anti-Turkish government forces in Iraqi lands. Hence, we call on Turkey to claim responsibility, make an official apology for these acts, put an end to the aggression as well as find solutions to their internal problems through engaging in dialogue with the relevant parties,” the statement read.

Baghdad has pledged to take a firm stance to “never allow such assaults to occur again” if these “acts of aggression” repeat.

Earlier on Saturday, First Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi parliament, Muhsin al-Mandalawi, instructed the authorities to form an investigative committee on the Sulaymaniyah airport attack to take measures that would uphold the sovereignty and protect Iraqi citizens from any attacks.

On Wednesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Ankara had closed the country’s airspace for three months to planes flying to and from Iraq’s Sulaymaniyah airport due to the increased activity of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, labeled as terrorist by Ankara. Turkey’s national flag carrier Turkish Airlines confirmed to Sputnik that there were no flights to Sulaymaniyah at the moment.

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