Baghdad Slams Turkey's Renewal of Iraqi No-Fly Zone Patrols

Published June 29th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

An official Iraqi newspaper on Thursday slammed Turkey's extension of the mandate of Operation Northern Watch (ONW), which patrols a no-fly zone over northern Iraq, and urged Ankara to review its policies. 

The renewal of ONW, a force of some 45 British and US planes, "reflects a hostile attitude which will have (negative) spin-offs", charged Ath-Thawra, mouthpiece of the ruling Baath party. 

"This decision, which has not been taken in an independent manner, contradicts completely the bilateral interests of the two neighboring countries," the paper said. 

"To build good relations with Iraq, the Turks must stop making their territory a base for planes of the US and British aggressors. 

"Turkey must be as concerned with Iraq's territorial integrity and security as it is for its own territory," the paper said. 

"Turkey's security will always present some fundamental gaps if Ankara does not rectify today its relations with Iraq before the total lifting of the embargo," it concluded. 

Turkey's parliament on Wednesday extended for a further six months, effective from June 30th, the mandate of ONW, which is based at Incirlik in the southern Turkish province of Adana - BAGHDAD (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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