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Tourist massacre marks turning point in Turkish-Iraqi ties

Iraq’s major political actors have all condemned Turkey over a deadly attack on a tourist site in what many believe signal a major downturn in bilateral ties.
SAFIN HAMED/AFP via Getty Images
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Turkey’s long pursuit of Kurdish militants on Iraqi territory has finally struck its ties with Baghdad and Erbil like a meteor, forcing the Iraqi Kurdish administration to openly confront Ankara after years of tiptoeing on the Turkish operations at the expense of fanning intra-Kurdish rows for years.

A July 20 artillery strike blamed on Turkey killed nine Iraqi vacationers and wounded more than 20 others in Parakh, a hill village near the Turkish border in Dahuk province in Iraqi Kurdistan. Indignation has swept Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite political actors that Ankara sees as close to itself. In a remarkably harsh reaction, Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr urged Iraq to downgrade relations and cancel all security agreements with Turkey, halt air and land traffic between the two countries.

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