Deployment of Turkish Troops in Iraq Against Baghdad's Will 'Insolent'
The Turkish forces' presence on Iraqi territory without Baghdad's approval was insolence and an attempt to distract Iraqi authorities from fight against Daesh, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry told Sputnik on Wednesday.
BAGHDAD (Sputnik) – In December, Turkey deployed about 150 troops and 25 tanks to a base in the Iraqi Nineveh province, without Baghdad's approval. Turkey said its troops had entered Iraq to protect Turkish instructors deployed at the base earlier to train local militias, fighting against Daesh, a terrorist group outlawed in a number of countries worldwide, including Russia.
'Frankly speaking, it was insolence, it cannot be explained. Iraq, as a sovereign country, a member of the UN, cannot accept it. The country is capable of defending itself, and this attempt to distract Iraqis from the crucial fight against IS looks really weird,' the ministry's spokesman Ahmed Jamal said.
Jamal added that Turkish deputy foreign ministers visited Iraq to discuss the issue and provided the Iraqi foreign minister with guarantees of the troops' withdrawal.
'We were surprised when after return to Ankara, they said the troops were staying. Of course, this was contrary to the agreements, and prompted us to file a complaint with the UN Security Council,' the spokesman said.
According to the spokesman, the withdrawal of Turkish troops is being discussed at bilateral talks and Turkey would have to leave 'sooner or later.'
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