Kurds criticize Turkish air strikes inside Iraq
The Kurdistan Region Presidency issued a statement on Turkey's shelling of several Kurdistan Workers' Party, PKK bases. The statement made reference to a phone call between President Barzani and Turkey's Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu the morning after the shelling.
President Massoud Barzani, president of KRG, spoke to Ahmed Davutoglu, Turkey's prime minister, over telephone on Saturday and "expressed his displeasure with the dangerous level the situation has reached", according to a KRG statement.
"He requested that the issue not be escalated to that level because peace is the only way to solve problems and years of negotiations are better than one hour of war," the statement said.
"Mr Barzani is ready to do anything within his means to assuage this tension and go back to a situation of peace."
On Friday, the same day Turkey said it bombed the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in Syria for the first time, Turkish jets also struck positions in northern Iraq held by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the group fighting against Turkey for more than three decades.
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on Saturday called on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to reduce tensions with Turkey and resume its peace process, following Turkish raids on the militants’ bases in Kurdistan.
“Unfortunately, the bom- bardments followed comments made by the leader of the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), claiming that the ceasefire and peace process between Turkey and the PKK is terminated,” Barzani explained in a statement.
In a related development, Turkish police have been rounding up hundreds of suspected ISIL and Kurdish fighters in cities and towns across the country. As of Saturday, nearly 600 people had been detained.
Reuter’s news agency said Turkish police fired water cannon and tear gas to disperse about 1,000 demonstrators who had gathered in the capital Ankara to protest against military strikes in Syria and northern Iraq.