Baghdad to Oppose Any Turkey's Combat Operations on Iraqi Territory - Government
Baghdad is against any military operations by Turkey on Iraqi territory and hopes Ankara will withdraw troops from the camp in northern Iraqi town of Bashiqa after the victory over the Daesh terrorist group, Iraqi government spokesman Saad Hadithi told Sputnik Friday.
BAGHDAD (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Al-Jazeera broadcaster in an interview that the Turkish troops were ready to enter the Iraqi territory to fight against terrorist groups, including the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), outlawed in Turkey.
"The Iraqi government will not allow any external side to carry out military operations on the ground, including Turkey or any other state. This is a clear and unchanged position," Hadithi said.
According to Hadithi, Baghdad expects Ankara to keep its promise and withdraw its troops from Iraq after the elimination of Daesh (outlawed in numerous countries) threat.
"When the territories are cleared from IS [Daesh] militants, there will be no reasons for their presence [in Iraq]," the spokesman added.
The PKK is designated as a terrorist group in Turkey and the United States. Tensions between Ankara and the Kurds escalated in July 2015 when a ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK collapsed because of a series of terror attacks allegedly committed by PKK members. The Kurds are living in parts of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. In Turkey, Kurds represent the largest ethnic minority, and are striving to create their own independent state.
Relations between Turkey and Iraq deteriorated after Turkey dispatched its troops in Iraq allegedly to fight the IS in late 2015. The Turkish government said its forces would participate in the operation on the liberation of Mosul, however, Iraqi authorities claim they have not given their consent for this participation.
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