Iraq criticized the Turkish military operation currently underway in areas inside Iraqi territory in the Kurdistan region, and considered it a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and a violation of international charters and laws.

The official spokesman for the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, Ahmed Al-Sahaf, said - in a press statement - that "Iraq considers this act a violation of its sovereignty and the sanctity of the country, and an act that violates international charters and laws that regulate relations between countries, as well as the principle of good neighborliness, which should be a reason to ensure that Carrying out joint security work for the benefit of both sides.

Al-Sahaf affirmed the Iraqi government's position that the territory of Iraq should not be a seat or a corridor for harming any of the neighboring countries, and it also rejects that Iraq should be an arena for conflicts and settling accounts for other external parties.

For his part, the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr - at dawn today, Tuesday - criticized the Turkish military operation, and said in a tweet to him on his personal account on Twitter: "Neighbour, Turkey, bombed Iraqi lands unjustly and without pretext, and it had to coordinate with the Iraqi government to end the danger that invaded it from Iraqi territory, and the Iraqi security forces are capable of that."

— Muqtada al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr (@Mu_AlSadr) April 18, 2022

Al-Sadr added: "We will not be silent. We will not accept aggression and destabilization of security from Iraqi territory, and we will not accept aggression against neighboring countries."

Akar discusses the Turkish military operation in northern Iraq with Turkish military leaders (Anatolia)

Turkish position

On the other hand, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that the military operation launched by Turkish forces on Sunday night against targets of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, aims to fight what he described as terrorists.

Akar added that the Turkish forces carried out this operation in a manner that respects the territorial integrity of Iraq's sovereignty, noting that the aim of the operation is to neutralize those he described as terrorists who carry out attacks on his country.

He stressed that his country shows great sensitivity not to harm in any way civilians, the environment, and cultural and religious monuments, during the planning of this military operation.

#Turkey🇹🇷..Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar: We have taken control of all the planned targets within the framework of Operation "Claw Lock"

— ANADOLU AGENCY (EN) (@aa_arabic) April 18, 2022

On Monday, Turkey announced that it launched a new air and ground attack on the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters in the strong areas of Zab, Afashin and Bassian in northern Iraq, with the participation of special forces backed by helicopters and drones.

The PKK - designated as a "terrorist" organization by Ankara and its Western allies - has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.