Iraq announces redeployment of troops to borders with Iran and Turkey after latest bombings

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Archive – An Iraqi Army soldier – Ameer Al Mohammedaw/dpa

The Iraqi government has announced its decision to redeploy troops to the borders with Iran and Turkey following recent bombings and drone attacks by Tehran and Ankara against positions of Kurdish groups in the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Iraqi National Security Council held a meeting on Wednesday headed by Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al Sudani to address «Turkish and Iranian violations and attacks against Iraqi borders,» Army General Staff spokesman Yahya Rasul confirmed.

He revealed that the measures agreed upon include «developing a plan to redeploy the border forces to hold the line on the borders with Iran and Turkey» and «guaranteeing all logistical support to the Border Forces».

Rasul noted that the «human capacities and the necessary funds for the delivery of equipment» will also be «reinforced», as well as «reinforcing the border posts», as reported by the Iraqi news agency INA.

Finally, Baghdad has agreed to «coordinate with the government of the Kurdistan region and the Ministry of Peshmerga – the security forces of the semi-autonomous region – to achieve the first two points in order to unify the national effort to protect the Iraqi borders».

The Iraqi government on Tuesday «strongly» condemned the latest bombings by Turkey and Iraq and argued that «they are a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and an act that contravenes international conventions and laws regulating relations between countries.»

Likewise, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement that «they also violate the principle of good neighborliness, which should be a reason to seek participatory security in the service of all parties.»

«The Government of Iraq stresses that Iraq’s territories are neither a base nor a corridor for causing harm to any of the neighboring countries and rejects Iraq as a ground for conflict and settling of scores between external parties,» it concluded.

Iran has been bombing in recent weeks against positions of Kurdish groups it accuses of stirring up recent protests in the country over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman arrested in Tehran for allegedly wearing the veil incorrectly, which have resulted in the death of more than 300 people, according to NGOs.

For its part, Turkey on Monday launched an offensive against Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria — mainly the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the People’s Protection Units (YPG) — following the Nov. 13 attack in Istanbul, which left six dead and more than 80 wounded.