Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi threatens to initiate a regional war if Turkey does not withdraw its military forces from Northern Iraq.
(BAGHDAD/ANKARA) Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has warned Turkey that it risks triggering a regional war by keeping troops in Iraq, as each summoned the other’s ambassador in a growing row.
Relations between the two regional powers are already broadly strained by the Syrian war and the rise of the Islamic State militant group.
Turkey’s parliament voted last week to extend its military presence in Iraq for a further year to take on what it called “terrorist organizations” – a likely reference to Kurdish rebels as well as Islamic State.
Iraq’s parliament responded on Tuesday night by condemning the vote and calling for Turkey to pull its estimated 2,000 troops out of areas across northern Iraq.
“We have asked the Turkish side more than once not to intervene in Iraqi matters and I fear the Turkish adventure could turn into a regional war,” Abadi warned in comments broadcast on state TV on Wednesday.
“The Turkish leadership’s behavior is not acceptable and we don’t want to get into a military confrontation with Turkey.”
“Neither Turkey’s presence in Bashiqa nor its operation right now in Syrian territory are aimed at occupying or interfering with the domestic affairs of these countries.”
Iraq’s central government in Baghdad says it never invited such a force and considers the Turkish troops occupiers.
Full article: Iraq threatens WAR with Turkey over military occupation (TruNews)