"The tension between Turkey and Iraq could soon open a new front in the Middle East; a war between these two countries cannot be ruled out any longer," writes DWN. The newspaper quotes President Erdogan from an interview on Wednesday with Al-Jazeera, in which he accused the Iraqi government of failing to protect Sunnis in northern Iraq.
"What will happen to Sunnis? There are Sunni Arabs, Sunni Turkmen and Sunni Kurds. What will happen to their security? They need a sense of security," Erdogan said. He claimed that "a lot of Arabs in the region have lost their rights."
Last week Turkey sent a 25 tank battalion and hundreds of troops as reinforcements for a unit in northern Iraq, without first getting the permission of Iraq's central government in Baghdad, which condemned the move as a "hostile act," and a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.
As well as sending tanks and troop reinforcements to northern Iraq, on Wednesday the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) reported that Turkish airstrikes aimed at several of its positions in northern Iraq, but instead of hitting guerrilla targets, caused damage to three villages.
"Erdogan is obviously following a wider agenda that could overlap with the wider interests of the US military and NATO," writes DWN.
"Turkey will try to use its status as a NATO member to exploit Iraq's weaknesses. The government in Baghdad has undergone an amazing swing towards Russia. That will be a great worry for US neocons."
DWN: Eskalation: Krieg zwischen der Türkei und dem Irak ist möglich: Im Nordirak spitzt sich die Lage weiter zu:… https://t.co/xgekewlniY— M. Kleine-Hartlage (@Korrektheiten) 10 декабря 2015
'Escalation: War between Turkey and Iraq is possible: in northern Iraq the situation is getting worse.'
Ankara's call for Turkish citizens to leave Iraq is proof of the gravity of the situation, writes the newspaper. On Wednesday the Turkish Foreign Ministry told Turkish citizens to leave all areas of Iraq, excluding Iraqi Kurdistan, due to increased security risks.
"The scope of our travel warning to Iraq has expanded to include all provinces except for Dohuk, Arbil and Sulaymaniyah."
The government stated the measure was a response to "growing remarks from various circles against Turkey's interests and encouraging acts of violence, terror, demonstration and kidnapping," as well as threats towards Turkish companies.