Iraq calls on Turkey to “immediately” withdraw
forces, including tanks and artillery, it has
deployed in the country’s north without
Iraq’s consent, the premier’s office said on
“The Iraqi authorities call on Turkey toâ€¦
immediately withdraw from Iraqi
territory,” the statement said.
“We have confirmation that Turkish
forces, numbering about one armoured
regiment with a number of tanks and
artillery, entered Iraqi territoryâ€¦
allegedly to train Iraqi groups, without a
request or authorisation from Iraqi
federal authorities,” it said.
The deployment “is considered a serious
violation of Iraqi sovereignty,” it added.
Turkish media reported that around 150
Turkish soldiers backed by 20 to 25
tanks had been sent by road to the
Bashiqa area northeast of Mosul, the city
that is the Islamic State jihadist group’s
main hub in Iraq.
Peshmerga forces from Iraq’s
autonomous Kurdish region are deployed
in the area, and Turkey’s Anatolia news
agency said the troops were there to
IS overran swathes of territory north
and west of Baghdad last year, and Iraqi
forces backed by US-led air strikes are
battling to drive the jihadists back.
The peshmerga are one of the most
effective Iraqi forces in the anti-IS fight,
but coordination between them and the
federal government in Baghdad has
generally been poor.