VIDEO: Iraqi Government Demands Turkey Withdraw form Northern Iraq

Sat Dec 5, 2015 10:39:52

The Iraqi government has demanded that Ankara withdraw the more than 100 Turkish forces that entered Iraq with tanks and artillery for alleged “training” of troops near ISIS occupied Mosul.

The Iraqi foreign ministry said in a statement early on Saturday that the Turkish troops were acting in violation of the country’s sovereignty and demanded the forces withdraw immediately. “Around one regiment armoured with tanks and artillery” has entered the northern Nineveh area, according to the statement from the Iraqi Prime Minister’s media office.

“The Iraqi authorities call on Turkey to respect good neighbourly relations and to withdraw immediately from the Iraqi territory,” the statement said, stressing that the Turkish troops entered “without the request or authorization from the Iraqi federal authorities,” which is a “serious breach of Iraqi sovereignty.”

The foreign ministry called Turkey’s move “an incursion,” Reuters reported.

According to the agency’s source, US was aware of the Turkey's move.

“Turkish soldiers have reached the Mosul Bashiqa region. They are there as part of routine training exercises. One battalion has crossed into the region,” the source told Reuters without revealing the exact number of troops.

He added that the Turkish forces are “training Iraqi troops.”

However, according to two US defense officials quoted by Reuters, Turkey’s deployment is not part of the efforts of the US-led coalition battling  ISIS.

On Friday, 130 Turkish soldiers equipped with heavy weapons were deployed at a military base on the outskirts of the city of Mosul, which is currently held by ISIS, according to the Daily Sabah newspaper.

According to Cumhuriyet newspaper, the number of the deployed Turkish troops amounts to at least 150.

The town of Bashiqa is located about 10 kilometers northeast of Mosul.

Mosul, Iraq’s second biggest city, was seized by ISIS in June 2014 and has been fully governed by militants ever since. Moreover, the extremist group captured large stockpiles of weapons and ammunition that were stored in the city; RT reported.


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