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Syrian Kurd protesters outside of UN office in the Iraqi city of Arbil Syrian Kurd protesters outside of UN office in the Iraqi city of Arbil   (AFP or licensors)

Iraq vows to secure Sinjar border region, after Turkish warning

The Iraqi military has been ordered to take full control of the country's borders amid Turkish threats of an incursion into Iraq to track down Kurdish rebels.

By Nathan Morley

The Iraqi prime minister said that any attempt by ‘foreign fighters’ to launch cross-border attacks on Turkey will be prevented by the Iraqi military.

Haider Al Abadi told Turkish officials he had ordered the army to establish full control of the national frontier, especially near Sinjar - a region of Iraq which borders Turkey.

Ankara’s intelligence chief will meet Iraqi officials to discuss the situation this week after claiming that the Kurdistan Workers Party - known as the PKK - is building a new base in Sinjar.

Turkish President Tayipp Erdogan said Turkey would do “what is necessary” if the Iraqi operation failed.

The PKK - which is considered an illegal terrorist movement by the Ankara government - has been conducting an insurgency against Turkey since 1984. They are demanding equal rights and Kurdish autonomy in Turkey.

In January, the Turkish military, along with the Free Syrian Army, launched 'Operation Olive Branch' in Syria's Afrin region targeting the YPG, which Ankara views as an extension of the PKK.

The region fell to Turkish backed forces last week after Kurdish resistance dissolved.

Listen to Nathan Morley's report
27 March 2018, 16:47