Massoud Barzani urges PKK to 'withdraw' from Kurdistan region
Kurdistan Region of Iraq called on the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) to "withdraw" from the Kurdish region Aug. 1 to prevent civilian deaths amid a campaign of Turkish airstrikes targeting the party.

A statement from the office of Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani said the PKK "should withdraw its fighters from the Kurdish region so to ensure the civilians of Kurdistan don't become victim of that fighting and conflict."

The statement also condemned Turkey for “bombing civilians,” following reports that civilian homes were damaged in airstrikes in northwestern Iraq. The statement calls on both sides to resume peace talks, the AP reported.

"We condemn the bombing, which led to the martyrdom of the citizens of the Kurdish region, and we call on Turkey to not to repeat the bombing of civilians," the statement added, and called upon both sides to resume a Kurdish peace process.

Turkey launched airstrikes on PKK camps in northern Iraq last week, its first such strikes since a peace process with the Kurds was launched in 2012. The airstrikes began as the U.S. and Turkey announced outlines of a deal to help push the Islamic State (IS) back from a strip of territory it controls along the Syrian-Turkish border, replacing it with more-moderate rebels backed by Washington and Ankara.

On July 31, the Kurdish regional government accused the PKK of attacking an oil pipeline in northern Iraq. The Kurdish government had been selling oil directly to Turkey in a move that sparked tensions between the regional government in Erbil and the federal government in Baghdad. Those sales were stopped as part of a deal with Baghdad earlier this year, though the Kurdish government has threatened to resume sales to the international market in recent weeks.

News Code: 11009  |  Date: 2015/08/02  |  Time: 0 : 46

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