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Iraq summons Turkish envoy to protest 'constant' airspace violations

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The Iraqi Foreign Ministry has summoned the Turkish ambassador to Baghdad over Ankara’s latest airstrikes against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, expressing its protest at “repeated” violations of its airspace.

The ministry said the Turkish military’s Thursday airstrikes were unacceptable “on all levels” and violated Baghdad’s sovereignty and the security of its citizens.

“The ministry denounces the actions of Turkish aircraft that violate Iraqi airspace and target several sites... in northern Iraq, which caused loss of life and property,” it said in a statement.

The Turkish military said in a tweet on Friday it had killed eight militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in airstrikes targeting the Zap, Hakurk and Haftanin regions of northern Iraq.

"Last night we carried out operations in northern Iraq. This operation we carried out was in opposition to the hostile activities against our national security, along our border line in Sinjar and the outskirts of Makhmur,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday, vowing that “there will be more to come.”

Turkey regularly carries out airstrikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq. The militants regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey, which is attached to northern Iraq.

For his part, Fatih Yıldız, Turkey's ambassador to Baghdad, underlined that the fight against terrorism has been a top priority in Turkish-Iraqi relations while stressing that despite some small steps, comprehensive cooperation is still expected from Iraq.

Turkey has long been stressing that it will not tolerate terror threats posed against its national security and has called on Iraqi officials to take the necessary steps to eliminate the terrorist group. 

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