5 Killed in Turkish Drone Strike in Northern Iraq

5 Killed in Turkish Drone Strike in Northern Iraq

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Five people were killed on Sunday in a Turkish drone strike in Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, official sources said.

Iraqi security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the victims lost their lives after a drone bombarded their vehicle in the Tigris region, west of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, on Sunday.

The attack occurred at 2:20 p.m. local time (1120 GMT Saturday) when a Turkish drone bombed a civilian vehicle in the west of Mosul and killed four men and a woman, said Governor of Nineveh Province Najm al-Jubouri in a separate statement.

The sources said that two people were also injured in the attack, which occurred approximately 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of the capital Baghdad.

Ambulances were dispatched to the scene of the incident and took the dead bodies to the forensics, they added.

Al-Jubouri in a separate statement strongly condemned the drone strike, saying such attacks would destabilize the security situation in the Iraqi province and called for a protest by the Iraqi government, Xinhua news agency reported.

Turkey launched a new cross-border incursion into Iraq, dubbed Operation Claw-Lock, in April. The air-and-ground military attacks target suspected strongholds of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the Zab, Basiyan, Avasheen, and Korajiwar districts in the Kurdistan region.

The Iraqi government summoned the Turkish ambassador, Ali Riza Guney, shortly afterward and handed him a “strongly worded” protest note over the offensive, calling it a blatant violation of the Arab country’s sovereignty.

For its part, Ankara also summoned the Iraqi charge d'affaires and warned him that the military operations will continue if Baghdad doesn’t take action against PKK members.

Last month, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry condemned in the strongest terms a Turkish drone strike in the Kurdistan region that killed several people, pledging that appropriate measures will be taken after the completion of an investigation into the deadly attack.

The ministry said in the statement, released on June 17, that such actions are “a threat to the security of ordinary people, several of whom lost their lives and sustained injuries as a result of the attack.”

Militants of the PKK regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.

A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.

More than 40,000 people have been killed during the three-decade conflict between Turkey and the autonomy-seeking militant group.

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