ISTANBUL, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Turkey’s defence ministry and high authorities officers on Thursday firmly rejected allegations that the Turkish Armed Forces had used chemical weapons of their operations in opposition to Kurdish militants.
Media near the Kurdistan Employees Occasion (PKK) militant group printed movies this week which it stated confirmed chemical weapons being utilized by the military in opposition to the PKK in northern Iraq.
Individually, a world medical teams’ federation printed a report this month searching for unbiased investigation of potential violations of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Conference.
“Allegations that ‘the Turkish Armed Forces used chemical weapons’ are fully baseless and unfaithful,” the defence ministry stated in an announcement.
“All these disinformation efforts are the futile struggles of the terrorist group and its allies,” it stated, including that ammunition prohibited by worldwide legislation and agreements was not utilized by, or within the stock of, its armed forces.
The PKK is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and United States. Greater than 40,000 folks have been killed in fallout from the insurgency that it launched in opposition to the Turkish state in 1984.
Worldwide Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear Warfare (IPPNW), which represents 1000’s of medical doctors and campaigns to stop armed violence, stated it discovered oblique proof of potential violations throughout a September mission to northern Iraq.
“The chemical weapons lie is a futile try by those that attempt to whitewash and airbrush terrorism. Our struggle in opposition to terrorism will proceed with resolve and willpower,” presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin stated on Twitter.
Omer Celik, spokesman of President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Occasion, described those that make chemical weapons’ allegations as a part of “a vile slander community”.
In its report, the IPPNW stated Defence Minister Hulusi Akar overtly acknowledged in Turkey’s parliament final yr the usage of tear gasoline throughout an operation in opposition to the PKK in northern Iraq.
“That is an outright violation of the Chemical Weapons Conference and ought to be pursued legally by the worldwide neighborhood,” it stated.
The IPPNW stated it present in northern Iraq materials close to an space deserted by the Turkish military together with containers for hydrochloric acid and bleach, which may very well be used to provide chlorine, a chemical warfare agent. On the similar web site containers had been discovered for gasoline masks defending in opposition to chemical weapons, it stated.
It stated none of its proof was definitive proof of chemical weapons use but it surely warranted additional unbiased investigation.
(Reporting by Daren Butler; Modifying by Jonathan Spicer, William Maclean)
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