Turkey to withdraw troops in Iraq: Iraqi PM Office
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Iraqi Prime Minister office announced on Saturday that Turkey would withdraw troops from Iraq after Mosul operation ends.
According to a statement by the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office, PM Haider al-Abadi received a phone call from his Turkish counterpart Binali Yıldırım discussing the Mosul operation, the presence of Turkish troops in Iraq and the bilateral relations.
Al-Abadi emphasized that all countries have to respect Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and stressed the need for the Turkish troops to withdraw from Bashiqa military base before declaring the withdrawal, the statement said.
“Iraq is keen to have strong relations with Turkey and other neighboring countries and it is important to remove all barriers that hinder developing bilateral relations,” Abadi said in the statement.
Turkish PM, Yıldırım, emphasized that his country is keen to respect Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
According to the statement, Yıldırım said “We will withdraw our troops and the mission of our troops will end with the liberation of Mosul,” stating that Turkey is looking to continue trade and economic ties with Iraq.
Yıldırım also called for the High Strategic Committee meeting between Iraq and Turkey in Baghdad.
In early December 2015, Turkish troops have been deployed to the town of Bashiqa northeast of Mosul.
While Turkey claims that the troops are there to train Sunni tribesmen in the build-up to liberating Mosul from the Islamic State (IS), Iraqi officials in Baghdad have called it "an invasion" of the country.
Editing by Ava Homa