BAGHDAD, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Iraq has asked Turkey to stop attacking PKK terrorists in autonomous Kurdish regions of northern Iraq as Turkey considers renewing its mandate for the raids.
The request was made Tuesday after the Turkish government said Monday it had asked parliament to extend the mandate to hunt down Kurdistan Workers' Party guerrillas, which expires Oct. 17, Today's Zaman reported.
Iraqi government spokesman Ali Dabbagh criticized the proposed extension, saying it contradicted "the principle of good neighborly relations."
He said the cabinet "rejects the presence of any foreign bases or troops on Iraqi territory and the incursion of any foreign military forces into Iraqi lands on the pretext of hunting down rebels."
Iraq's relations with Turkey have deteriorated over the past year, and worsened last month when Turkey refused to extradite Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who fled to Turkey after he was accused of running death squads, a charge he has denied.
Hashemi was convicted during his absence and sentenced to death.
Turkey sent ground forces into Iraq in pursuit of terrorists in 2008 and some 1,000 troops are based there under an agreement with Iraq. However, most of the attacks against the PKK have been aerial raids.
Iraqi Kurdistan has been autonomous since 1991 and has its own armed forces, which are responsible for protecting the border with Turkey.
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