Turkey intelligence official insists Iraq operations will continue in Baghdad visit
The deputy chief of Turkey's intelligence service, Mutlu Tuka, met with Iraqi officials in Baghdad on Monday to discuss security issues, including the activities of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group in northern Iraq.
The meeting came amid a spat over an attack on Sulaymaniyah Airport that took place just three days earlier, which Baghdad accused Ankara of being behind.
During the meeting, Tuka informed Iraqi National Security Agency head Qassem Al-Araji of reported threats to Turkey from PKK militants based in Iraq and cross-border weapons smuggling operations, according to a source who spoke to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
The Iraqi source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Tuka emphasised that Ankara would continue its operations in Iraq to prevent alleged attempts to destabilise Turkey.
On Saturday, Baghdad had called on Ankara to cease "intimidating civilians under the pretext that forces hostile to it are present on Iraqi soil", demanding an apology for the airport attack.
The drone attack took place on Friday as Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) leader Mazloum Abdi was at the airport.
Ankara accuses the SDF, who have been the US' main partner in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria, of having ties to the PKK.
Turkey frequently conducts air strikes on Iraqi Kurdistan, whose mountains are used as by the PKK as bases. Turkey has dozens of military bases in the same area.