İlnur Çevik writes
Our neighbor Iraq is unfortunately under occupation.
Some parts of Northern Iraq is under the occupation from PKK militants waging a terrorist war against Turkey. The PKK has settled in the Qandil Mountains of northeastern Iraq for decades and no one has been able to dislodge these terrorists. In recent years the PKK has used the pretext of “fighting Daish” to move to the northwestern areas of Sinjar province near the Syrian border.
President of the Iraqi Kurdish Administration (KRG) Masoud Barzani has been raising hell trying to tell the PKK to vacate Sinjar and go back to Qandil but his words have remained in the air. The central government of Iraq, which is supposed to be the sovereign power of Iraq, is completely incapable of even addressing the issue and says “those areas are beyond our control.” So much for Iraq’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
But that is not all. The militant force of Daish has carved out nearly half of the country and is controlling Mosul. The areas were left to Daish on a golden plate when the forces of the central government fled the region leaving behind their heavy arms. Now the central government is trying to take back Sunni Mosul with a Shiite army, which is a massive mistake.
To add to the humiliation of the central government in Baghdad and the Iraqi parliament the country has now fallen into the hands of Iran. Iranian generals and revolutionary guards are trying to bolster the Iraqi army but to no avail. The American occupation has been replaced by a de factor Iranian occupation.
Meanwhile the Americans with the pretext of arming and training the Iraqi army have crawled back into Iraq. Yet another occupation.
Now with all these examples on how Iraq’s sovereignty has been and is being violated when the Iraqi parliament comes up with a motion calling on Turkey to withdraw its forces from Iraq it sounds more like a joke rather than a political move that should be taken seriously. The Iraqi parliament should show more concern for the presence of Daish and PKK terrorists on their land than the presence of Turkish soldiers. Our forces are in Iraq to help these people fight Daish.
However, that is not all. The PKK launches terrorist attacks inside Turkey from Iraq and as the Iraqis cannot prevent this then Turkey has to take matters into its own hands. Turkey had to intervene to halt the Daish assault on Iraq and save the occupation of Irbil and Kirkuk. Where was the Iraqi army at the time? Where was the Iraqi parliament at the time?
Now the Iraqi parliament is saying the Turkish forces in Bashiqa and other training camps in Northern Iraq are not welcome. They are being perceived as an occupation force. Yet on Thursday the Kurdish leadership announced that the central government in Iraq was fully informed of the presence of Turkish forces in the region and they did not oppose this at the time.
It is strange that a junior American officer said Turkey is not a part of the coalition against Daish in Iraq and thus its presence is unwanted. The U.S. knows well and appreciates the importance of the Turkish presence in Iraq and knows well what would happen if Turkey were sidelined and allowed events to take their natural course