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Iraq issues Turkey travel advisory after resort bombing

Iraq issues Turkey travel advisory after bombing kills tourists at Kurdistan resort
2 min read
21 July, 2022
Iraqis should not travel to Turkey 'for their own safety and in solidarity with the blood of the martyrs', the Iraqi culture ministry said.
All of the casualties in Wednesday's bombing were Iraqi tourists, Kurdish officials have said [AFP via Getty]

Iraq has advised its citizens not to travel to Turkey after a Turkish airstrike on Iraqi Kurdistan killed nine people on Wednesday.

At least nine Iraqi civilians were killed and 23 others wounded when several Turkish artillery shells hit a tourist resort in the Duhok province of Iraqi Kurdistan, according to officials.

State media reported the culture ministry as saying that Iraqis should not travel to Turkey "for their own safety and in solidarity with the blood of the martyrs".

All of the casualties were Iraqi tourists visiting from further south in the sweltering country to enjoy cooler weather, Kurdish officials said.

Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Iraq's prime minister, has ordered an investigation into the incident and has sent his foreign minister and senior military commanders to the targeted area.

Turkey regularly conducts airstrikes on Iraqi territory, saying this is to flush out the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), an armed Kurdish group that has fought for  autonomy in Turkey and is mostly based in the mountains of the far north of Iraq, in the Kurdistan region.

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Though Iraq condemns Turkey's bombings, it rarely acts any further. Turkey is a major trade partner for Iraq, and the arid country, which is suffering a major water crisis, is at the mercy of Ankara for the downstream flow of water.

But parliamentarians and other political figures are angry over the bombing, calling for concrete action to be taken against Turkey.

Influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, head of the Sadrist Movement, said all air and land travel to Turkey should be stopped.

The head of parliament's pro-Iran Fatah alliance, Hadi Al-Amiri, also demanded that the Turkey-Iraq border be shut and that Turkish companies no longer operate in Iraq.

Public anger over the bombing came to a boil when protesters stormed the Turkish embassy in Baghdad late on Wednesday, lowering the Turkish flag and burning it as a protest against the Turkish attack on the civilian resort.

Iraqi social media users have also called for a boycott of Turkish goods. Iraq's foreign ministry has yet to issue an advisory on travel to Turkey.