By Kubra Chohan
Turkey is ready to cooperate with the Iraqi government to end the PKK terrorist group’s presence across Iraqi territories, according to the Foreign Ministry on Monday.
In a written statement, the ministry warned the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) against adding “to the grave mistakes it made in the recent period”.
The ministry said Turkey was "closely following the steps taken by the Iraqi government to establish constitutional sovereignty in the city of Kirkuk" after the Sept. 25 referendum that the KRG organized "in an illegitimate manner in violation of the Iraqi constitution".
“We will hold those responsible who help PKK terrorist organization find shelter in the region," it said adding that PKK would cause deterrence of social tranquility and peace in Kirkuk.
"Turkey will take the side of the Iraqi government to take steps to ensure lasting peace and stability in the country."
Earlier Monday, the Iraqi army launched an operation to capture military bases and oil fields in oil-rich Kirkuk city.
The move comes amid tension between Baghdad and the KRG after last month’s illegitimate Kurdish independence referendum.
The Sept. 25 referendum has faced strong opposition from most regional and international actors -- including the U.S., Turkey, and Iran -- who warned that the poll would distract from Iraq’s fight against terrorism and further destabilize the region.
The Iraqi parliament has approved a set of measures against the Kurdish region, including the deployment of federal forces in disputed areas, including Kirkuk.