TURKEY

Turkey vows to deal with threats from northern Iraq

TURKEY VOWS TO DEAL WITH THREATS FROM NORTHERN IRAQ

The defense minister on Thursday said Turkey would take all measures against the rise of terror threat emanating from northern Iraq.

"The PKK terrorist group appears to be expanding its presence seriously in northern Iraq, accommodating terrorists. So, the threats coming from that side are on the rise," Nurettin Canikli told journalists during his official state visit to capital Baku.

"Turkey cannot remain indifferent to this. Turkey will take all necessary steps and measures to eradicate the threat."

Regarding the Kurdish Regional Government's illegitimate referendum Monday, he said the move would lead to conflicts.

He added that any plan to establish a state would set the region and the entire world on fire, bringing together more conflicts to global stage.

The illegitimate referendum saw Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas -- and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad, including ethnically mixed Kirkuk and Mosul -- vote on whether or not to declare independence.

In recent days, Ankara has launched a military exercise across the border from KRG territory and threatened restrictions at the main frontier crossing.

Along with Iraq's central government, Turkey, the U.S., Iran, and the UN have spoken out against Monday's illegitimate poll, warning it would distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region.

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