Turkey Not Part of US-Led Coalition in Iraq - Coalition Spokesman
14:56 02.02.2016(updated 16:46 02.02.2016)
Coalition spokesman Steven Warren said that Turkish military forces in Iraq are not a part of the US-led coalition.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Turkish military forces in Iraq are not a part of the US-led coalition and the United States has not given Ankara the green light to fight against terrorism in the country, coalition spokesman Steven Warren said in an interview on Iraq's Alsumaria television Tuesday.
Warren said that Turkish forces are in Iraq on their "own mission."
Tensions in Iraq's relations with Turkey escalated in December, when Turkish troops arrived at the Bashik camp in the northern Iraq province of Nineveh.
Baghdad and other nations have called on Ankara to withdraw its troops and respect Iraq's territorial sovereignty. On January 25, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reiterated the claim that the Turkish troops' objective was to support Iraq in the campaign against the Daesh jihadist group.
Warren reaffirmed the United States' respect for Iraq's sovereignty.
Despite the general's claims, a joint statement issued by partners of the anti-Daesh coalition in mid-2014 lists the Republic of Turkey alongside 59 other countries. Last fall, Turkey agreed host US combat aircraft at the Incirlik Air Base in the anti-Daesh campaign.
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