Turkish drone strike on Tuesday in the Sidakan area in northeastern Iraq, near the Turkish and Iranian borders, killed two members of Iraq’s border guard and the driver of the vehicle they were in, the Iraqi military said.
Iraq cancelled on Tuesday the Turkish defence minister’s visit to the country which was scheduled for Thursday, Iraq’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
The ministry also summoned the Turkish ambassador to hand him “a strong protest note and inform him of Iraq’s confirmed rejection of his country’s attacks and violations”, the statement added.
“General Mohammed Rushdi, commander of the Border Guards’ 2nd Brigade and Brigadier Zubair Hali, commander of the 3rd Regiment, were killed in the attack,” said Ihsan Chelebi, the mayor of Bradost, adding that they had been establishing new posts in the area.
Two Iraqi security officials said the Border Guard commanders were meeting secretly with members of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK, during the attack. Turkey considers the PKK a terrorist organization and has bombed their positions inside northern Iraq in several operations.
The security officials said five others were also killed in the attack. They did not say whether they were military personnel or civilians.
A PKK official in northern Iraq said the meeting had taken place in Bradost. “The purpose of the meeting was to bring stability to the area,” he said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.