Iraq says entry of Kurd fighters violates sovereignty

The Iraqi government said on Tuesday that it rejects the entry of Kurdish fighters from Turkey into its territory as a "flagrant violation" of the country's sovereignty and independence.

"The Iraqi government confirms its rejection of the withdrawal and the presence of armed men of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) inside Iraqi territory, which is a flagrant violation of Iraq's sovereignty and independence," a statement from the cabinet said.

The first group of PKK fighters, who are departing Turkey as part of a peace drive with Ankara, arrived in north Iraq on Tuesday.