The Iraqi government has demanded Turkey withdraw soldiers it sent over the border to an region in the country’s north controlled by Islamic State militants.
Turkish media reported that around 150 Turkish soldiers backed by 20 to 25 tanks had been sent by road to the Bashiqa region north-east of Mosul, the city that is the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group’s main hub in Iraq.
Peshmerga forces from Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish area are deployed in the location, and Turkey’s Anatolia news agency said the troops have been there to train them.
The Iraqi premier’s workplace named on Ankara to “right away” withdraw the troops and tanks, saying they had been deployed without Baghdad’s consent.
“The Iraqi authorities call on Turkey to … right away withdraw from Iraqi territory,” the statement mentioned.
“We have confirmation that Turkish forces, numbering about one particular armoured regiment with a quantity of tanks and artillery, entered Iraqi territory … allegedly to train Iraqi groups, without having a request or authorisation from Iraqi federal authorities.”
The deployment “is deemed a serious violation of Iraqi sovereignty.”
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 1 of the most successful Iraqi forces in the anti-IS fight, but coordination in between them and the federal government in Baghdad has normally been poor.
Topics: unrest-conflict-and-war, planet-politics, foreign-affairs, government-and-politics, iraq, turkey