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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Iraq urges Turkish troops pullout, threatens military action

Iran Press TV

Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:9PM

The Iraqi foreign minister has once again called on Turkey to withdraw its troops from northern Iraq, warning that Baghdad may otherwise take military action against Ankara.

Iraq seeks a peaceful resolution of the issue, but if there is no other solution and if 'fighting is imposed on us, we will consider it to protect our sovereignty,' Ibrahim al-Jaafari told a press conference in Baghdad on Wednesday.

The remarks came more than three weeks after Turkey deployed some 150 soldiers, equipped with heavy weapons and backed by 20 to 25 tanks, to the outskirts of the city of Mosul, the capital of Iraq's northern province of Nineveh.

Ankara claimed the deployment was part of a mission to train and equip Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the fight against Takfiri Daesh terrorists, but Baghdad denounced the uncoordinated act as a violation of Iraq's national sovereignty.

Later, Turkey announced that it had begun withdrawing troops following an appeal by US President Barack Obama. At that time, however, al-Jaafari cast doubt on Ankara's claims, saying the Turkish forces would be relocated from one area to another on the Iraqi soil.

The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh mounted an offensive in the country in June 2014.

The Iraqi army together with volunteer fighters has been engaged in operations to liberate militant-controlled regions.

Over the past few days, the Iraqi army advances against terrorists have gained momentum.

On December 28, Iraqi forces fully liberated the city of Ramadi, the capital of the western province of Anbar, from the grips of Daesh elements. They are also planning to recapture Mosul, which fell into the hands of Daesh terrorists in June last year in the first stage of terrorists' advance through Iraq.



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