Aletho News


Turkey says to ‘reorganize’ troops in Iraq

Press TV – December 11, 2015

Turkey says it has decided to “reorganize” its troops in a camp in northern Iraq after holding talks with officials in Baghdad, who strongly criticized Ankara for the deployment.

In a statement on Friday, the office of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said after holding talks with Iraqi officials, Ankara has decided to change the way it has been deploying soldiers at the Bashiqa camp near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

It said the two sides have reached an agreement to start work on creating mechanisms aimed at deepening cooperation on security issues.

The statement did not specify the details of the proposed mechanisms and how the troops would be reorganized. However, other officials in Turkey said Baghdad and Ankara have decided to work together on the issue.

“We’ll decide together if we’ll increase or decrease the number of Turkish troops,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, adding, “It is our duty to address the Baghdad government’s concerns.”

Turkey’s apparent change of tone over the last Friday deployment of hundreds of troops comes two days after it missed an ultimatum to pull out the fight from Bashiqa, prompting Baghdad to threaten to follow up the case in the United Nations Security Council.

However, Turkey’s latest move seemed to be insufficient for Baghdad, as Iraq’s Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on Friday asked his foreign ministry to lodge formal complaint with the UN Security Council over the Turkish incursion.

Abadi, in a statement on his website, asked that the Security Council order Turkey to withdraw its troops from Iraq immediately.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan again said on Friday that he will resist Baghdad’s call for pulling out troops. Erdogan had said on Thursday that “withdrawal is out of the question for the time being.”

Turkey had said that the deployment was in line with previous agreements with the Iraqi government. Iraq, however, denied any such deal, branding the presence of troops as a violation of its national sovereignty.

Reports said that Turkey’s powerful intelligence chief Hakan Fidan and foreign ministry undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu were in Baghdad on Thursday to discuss the deployment.

Cavusoglu also said that Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz will also pay a visit to Iraq to follow up the reorganization plan.

December 11, 2015 - Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | ,

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