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Iran Press TV

Ankara troops cause lots of tension in Iraq: Premier Abadi

Iran Press TV

Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:9PM

The Iraqi prime minister says Ankara shows no respect to an agreement on pulling back its troops from the country's north, accusing the Turkish forces of causing "lots of tension" in the region.

In a phone conversation with Turkish Premier Ahmet Davutoglu on Wednesday, Haider al-Abadi also reiterated his stance on the territorial integrity of his country and requested the Turkish government to withdraw its troops from the Iraqi territory immediately, the Arabic-language al-Soumeria news website reported.

"Turkish forces are not fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, so there is no reason why Ankara has sent its military trainers deep inside the Iraqi border, in a place like Mosul, and put their lives at risk. Instead, there are other safe camps in other areas, which they can go," Abadi further said, adding that Daesh terrorists are much closer to Turkish borders from the Syrian side, yet Ankara does not fight with them.

Earlier in the day, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari also told a press conference that Baghdad might resort to military action to defend its sovereignty if Ankara does not pull back its troops from the Iraqi territory.

The remarks came less than a month 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 Daesh terrorists, but Baghdad denounced the act as a violation of Iraq's national sovereignty since they entered the Iraqi territory without the knowledge or approval of the central government in Baghdad.

On December 19, Turkey announced that it had begun withdrawing troops following an appeal by US President Barack Obama. Yet Baghdad says the Turkish forces will only be relocated from one area to another on the Iraqi soil.

Also on Wednesday, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon congratulated the Iraqi premier on the recent liberation of Ramadi from Daesh terrorists and offered help "to restore the rule of law as well as basic services" in the city.

The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence 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.

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