Angry reactions to the deaths of nine Iraqi civilians in an artillery strike blamed on Turkey continued to spread across Iraq yesterday, as the bodies of the victims were flown to Baghdad where they were received by Mustafa al-Kadhimi, the country's prime minister. Kadhimi declared a national day of mourning, and the country’s Ministerial Council on National Security demanded that Turkey formally apologize and withdraw all of its forces from Iraq.
Iraq said it would be taking its case to the UN Security Council, even as Turkey denied involvement in the artillery attack on a tourist resort in Iraqi Kurdistan’s Dahuk region and called for a joint investigation.
Victims included a 1-year-old girl and a newly married man who had traveled there with his bride for their honeymoon.
The massacre has dealt a blow to Ankara’s recent charm offensive aimed at rebuilding ties with Arab nations. In a statement, the Arab League stressed "full rejection of the Turkish aggression on Iraqi sovereignty, which represents a clear violation of international law, and a flagrant violation of the principles of good neighborliness."
The State Department and various EU governments joined in the flood of condemnations over the deaths of the tourists, which were mostly women and children.