Iraq prevents entry of Turkish citizens, including officials, in retaliation to Turkish air strikes

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the cancellation of visits of Turkish officials to the country and the closing of all border crossings and airports to Turkish citizens in response to the repeated Turkish attacks on Iraqi territory.

The Ministry’s spokesman, Ahmed al-Sahaf, stated that his country would reciprocate the treatment Turkey has shown to Iraq and threatened to end the Iraqi–Turkish Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2009 which facilitated entry visas at border crossings and airports for Turkish citizens to Iraqi territory, as well as canceling all scheduled visits of Turkish officials to Iraq, including the scheduled visit of the Turkish Minister of Defense.

“The Iraqi Foreign Ministry summoned the Turkish ambassador in Baghdad for two consecutive times and handed him two protest notes, after Turkey’s attacks on the Iraqi sovereignty, calling on the Turkish government to hold the perpetrators of hostile crimes accountable,” Al-Sahaf added.