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Turkey launched its latest military intervention in northern Iraq on Apr. 18, a combined air and ground assault dubbed Operation Claw Lock. Ankara has asserted that the operation is necessary to combat the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which it considers as a terrorist organization, but Iraq has strongly denounced the cross-border action as yet another violation of its sovereignty.
Despite the focus on the PKK, deeper dynamics are also perceived to be at play. Former Iraqi prime minister (2006-14) Nouri Al-Maliki—the long-time head of the State of Law bloc—has gone further and argued that Turkey’s actions are in fact a sign that it is “eyeing” ways to reassert control over territory lost following the break-up of the Ottoman Empire a century ago...
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