UPDATED 9:32 AM PT – Thursday, April 21, 2022
The Turkish military is advancing a large-scale operation in Northern Iraq that began with an invasion of Kurdish areas earlier this week. Turkey’s Defense Ministry said it conducted artillery and missile strikes on targets that belong to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which Ankara considers a terrorist group.
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party seeks to form a Kurdish national state in the Kurdish areas of Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Turkish ground forces also reportedly crossed into Iraq as part of the operation.
“Our fundamental goal is to neutralize terrorists who are attempting to attack our country, our borders,” stated Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar. “As always, during the planning and execution of this operation, we displayed maximum sensitivity toward civilians, the environment, cultural and religious structures so they wouldn’t be harmed.”
The Kurdish Friendship Group in the European Parliament, strongly condemn the unjustified attacks and the new cross-border invasion by #Turkey on South Kurdistan/Northern Iraq. A violation of international law.
— Nikolaj Villumsen (@nvillumsen) April 21, 2022
Much of the international community has yet to react to Turkey’s latest invasion of Iraq, which may lead to further destruction and civilian deaths in the conflict-ridden country. Meanwhile, some members of the European Parliament have spoke out against the escalation.