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Iraq: Turkey

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL4684, tabled on 3 December 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to ask participants at the 26th conference of State Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention to investigate reports of Turkish Forces using (1) tabun, and (2) other poisonous gases, in the Behdinan region of Iraq.

Answered on

17 December 2021

The United Kingdom opposes the use of chemical weapons in all circumstances. We take any credible evidence of the use of chemical weapons very seriously. We have been monitoring the recent allegations of chemical weapons use in northern Iraq but the allegations remain unsubstantiated. Any evidence should be shared with States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention and provided through appropriate channels to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Technical Secretariat. Recent violent protests in connection with these allegations targeting the OPCW headquarters in The Hague were deeply concerning.

We continue to reiterate the importance of dialogue and cooperation between Iraq and Turkey to combat terrorism, ensure regional security and protect civilians. We welcome discussions between Iraqi and Turkish Defence Ministers regarding Ankara's military operations against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a proscribed terrorist group, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). The Foreign Secretary discussed the stability of Iraq and the KRI with KRI President, Nechirvan Barzani, during his visit to London of 15-17 September.