Originally scheduled to meet Condoleezza Rice in Baghdad, the Kurdish leader, Massoud Barzani withdrew in protest. This was the result of several villages were bombed on Sunday by the Turkish military.
The targets hit by the Turkish military were allegedly positions with the PKK rebels. These strikes were followed by a 300 troop incursion on Tuesday. According to the UNHCR, the refugee agency of the United Nations, almost 2,000 people have fled their homes in northern Iraq due to operations carried out by Turkey.
Nechirvan Barzani, the prime minister of Kuristan’s Regional Government explained that the president refused the meeting because of the US government’s tolerance of raids carried out by Turkey.
“It was decided that Massoud Barzani would go to Baghdad to take part in a meeting with Condoleezza Rice and other officials, but he will not go now as a sign of protest against the American position on the bombings by Turkey,” Nechirvan Barzani had said to reporters in Irbil, located in northern Iraq.
In a meeting in Baghdad, Rice had said that the US, Iraq, and Turkey shared the same goals of stopping PKK activities.
“This is a circumstance in which the US has constantly counseled that we need an overall comprehensive approach to this problem and that no one should do anything that threatens to destabilize the north,” Rice had explained.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s PM reasserted the country’s right to defend itself against PKK attacks.
“We are using our rights based on the international law against a terrorist organization,” Erdogan had said.
The PKK is accused of using bases in Iraq to launch attacks on Turkey. Turkey has also accused local Kurdish authorities of aiding the PKK.