Turkey says Iraq needs to rally all factions against DAESH

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Iraqi government needs to receive support of all political factions of country if it wants to defeat DAESH terrorist organisation

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a conference in Turkey’s southeastern province of Gaziantep on Jan. 16, 2016.

Updated Jan 18, 2016

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has stated that the Iraqi government urgently needs to enlist the support of all social forces of the country if it sincerely wishes to beat back the DAESH terrorist group.

"Iraq is currently ungovernable because 30 percent of [Iraqi] territory has been occupied by a terrorist organisation," Cavusoglu said speaking in a conference in Turkey’s southeastern province of Gaziantep on Saturday.

"Today the Baghdad government could not win the trust of the Iraqi people. Sunnis, Kurds and other people who had been alienated by [Iraqi former prime minister] Maliki are still marginalised [in the country]," he added.

“If Iraq wants to win its fight against DAESH, it needs to receive support of those alienated communities."

Cavusoglu also stressed that Turkey respects the territorial integrity and border security of "its outstanding neighbour" more than that of any other country.

“We are more sensitive than anybody else,” he declared.

He also criticised the reaction of the Iraqi government to the recent deployment of Turkish troops in northern Iraq on the grounds that Turkey has been active in the region in order to train Iraqi national army units for the fight against DAESH.

The Turkish Armed Forces on Dec. 4 deployed around 150 soldiers and 25 tanks to the town of Bashiqa, located in the northern Iraqi province of Mosul, with the intention of replacing troops that have reportedly been training Iraqi national army units and Peshmerga forces in the region since March 2015.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al Abadi criticised the deployment, claiming that it was carried out without Baghdad's approval and asked the Turkish government to withdraw its troops from the region.

However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted that Turkish soldiers will continue to stay in northern Iraq because they have been stationed there for training purposes at the request of the Iraqi government.

Turkey has recently announced that its military units in Iraq have been relocated but it will continue to redeploy its forces there.

TRTWorld, TRTWorld and agencies