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Parliament speaker warns Turkey against interfering in Iraq's affairs
BAGHDAD: The fiery speaker of Iraq's parliament on Friday joined the increasingly heated war of words with Turkey, warning Ankara that "the hand that reaches out to interfere in our internal affairs will be cut."
Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, speaking during an extraordinary Friday session a day after a suicide bomber killed one lawmaker in the parliament dining hall, also issued strong backing for a Kurdish leader who has been at the center of the angry debate over Turkish challenges on the future status of Kirkuk, the oil rich city in northern Iraq.
Al-Mashhadani issued the rhetorical threat one day after Turkey's military asked the government to approve attacks on Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq — a signal of growing frustration over a lack of action against the guerrillas by Iraqi and U.S. forces.
"An operation into Iraq is necessary," said Turkish chief of the armed forces Gen. Yasar Buyukanit.
Al-Mashhadani fired back that "the hand that will be extended to interfere in our internal affairs will be cut, if not today then tomorrow. If neighboring, friendly and brotherly countries have good intentions they should help us."