Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz said Wednesday that Turkey was an "essential partner in the aggression" by the United States and Britain against Iraq, said AFP.
"Turkey's despicable support for the constant US-British aggression against Iraq makes Ankara an essential partner in the aggression," Aziz said in a letter to Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, quoted by the official Iraqi news agency, INA.
"In line with international law, Iraq reserves [for] itself the right to defend its sovereignty and security and demand compensation from Turkey for the human and material losses caused by the aggression," said Aziz, also Iraq's interim foreign minister.
There are almost daily clashes between Iraq and US and British planes patrolling northern and southern exclusion zones aimed at enforcing the military restrictions imposed on the Baghdad regime after the 1991 Gulf War.
On June 25, the Turkish Parliament decided to extend the mandate of Operation Northern Watch, a force of around 45 US and British planes that patrol the skies of northern Iraq.
Baghdad does not recognize the northern no-fly zone nor a twin zone in the south of Iraq.
Meanwhile, reports said that Iraq would quickly resume oil exports following the Security Council's decision to extend the UN's humanitarian program in Iraq for five months, a Western diplomat in Baghdad said Wednesday, cited by Reuters.
"The resolution adopted Tuesday by the United Nations Security Council is in line with Iraq's request to renew the oil-for-food humanitarian program," the diplomat told the agency.
"The resolution makes no mention of anything that could raise objections from Iraq about resuming crude exports," he said.
The 15-member Security Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to extend the oil-for-food program in Iraq for five months, after backing away from a showdown over sanctions reform – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )