ISTANBUL, Turkey (Kurdistan24) – A crisis over Turkish military presence in a base in northern Iraq reached a new level as Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Monday said Iraq "should first become a state before talking big."
Turkish PM was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Istanbul Technical University, reported the Kurdistan24 bureau there.
"Reclaim your homeland, prevent its destruction. Know how to become a state then talk big to Turkey. If you don't do that, your words will be considered humor. Let us see your will," Yildirim challenged his Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi.
On Sunday Abadi declared that Turkish forces based in a camp near the town of Bashiqa in Nineveh Province would not be allowed to move toward the Islamic State (IS)-held city of Mosul in an anticipated operation.
The war of words between the two sides began at the beginning of October when the Turkish Parliament extended a mandate allowing its military to conduct operations in Iraq and Syria.
Since then the Iraqi Parliament has condemned the presence of Turkish troops on its soil and called for their withdrawal.
Moreover, both countries' have summoned each other's ambassadors, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has insisted on a liberation of Mosul solely with Sunni groups.
Turkey deployed a large contingent of its troops and tanks in late 2015 with the official aim of training local Sunni Arab fighters.
"The instability in the region affects Turkey most. The governments in the region do not dare say a word when many countries that have no physical or emotional ties are up to some kind of plans," said Yildirim in an implied reference to the US and coalition countries' military deployment in Iraq in the context of the fight against the IS.
Yildirim previously slammed Abadi's government for making "dangerous and provocative" remarks.
Editing by Ava Homa