A picture taken on April 19, 2022, shows smoke billowing from behind the mountains of Matin (Jabal Matin) in the town of Chiladze following a Turkish offensive targeting rebels in the north's autonomous Kurdistan region. Image Credit: AFP

Ankara: The Turkish foreign ministry has summoned the Iraqi charge d’affaires to convey discomfort with statements by Iraqi authorities about a Turkish military operation against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, the ministry said on Thursday.

Turkish warplanes, helicopters and drones were part of an air and land operation in northern Iraq against Kurdish facilities ranging from camps to ammunition stores.

Iraq accused Turkey of violating its sovereignty and on Tuesday summoned the Turkish ambassador in Baghdad and delivered a “strongly worded” protest note to him, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Iraq also called on its neighbour to withdraw all of its forces from Iraqi territory.

In response, the Turkish foreign ministry also handed a diplomatic note to the Iraqi envoy on Thursday and accused the Iraqi government of making “unfounded allegations” over the military operation.

The military action was part of a long-running Turkish campaign in Iraq and Syria against militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, both regarded as terrorist groups by Ankara.

Turkey regularly launches air strikes into northern Iraq and has sent commandos to support its offensives.

The PKK took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which in the past was mainly focused in southeast Turkey.