Abadi says Iraq will prevent PKK attacks on Turkey

Baghdad orders full control of borders as tensions escalate and Ankara threatens incursion into Iraq

FILE PHOTO: Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaks during a ceremony in Najaf, Iraq January 7, 2018. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani - /File Photo
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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi has told his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim that any attempt by "foreign fighters" to launch cross-border attacks against Turkey will be prevented by Iraq's armed forces.

Mr Al Abadi said he has ordered the military to take full control of the country's borders amid escalating tensions between Ankara and Turkey's rebel Kurds, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), based on the Iran-Iraq border.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey's intelligence chief would meet Iraqi officials to discuss an Iraqi military operation in Sinjar, a region of north Iraq that is home to the country's Yazidi minority.

Four years ago, Sinjar also became home to members of the PKK, a militia force that has for decades waged an insurgency against the Turkish state. The PKK was also the first group to go to the aid of the Yazidi minority community when ISIL attacked it in August 2014.

Mr Erdogan also said that Turkey would do "what is necessary" if the Iraqi operation in Sinjar failed.

Turkey said last week that the PKK is creating a base in Sinjar, and that Turkish forces would attack it if necessary. Sources in northern Iraq said on Friday the PKK would withdraw from Sinjar,

The PKK, considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union and the United States, has for many years been based in Iraq's Qandil mountain range, near the border with Iran.

Read more:

Iraq deploys troops to Sinjar following Turkey's push against PKK 

Erdogan threatens Iraq's Sinjar region with military operations 

Baghdad holds key to reconciliation in Sinjar, analysts say