UN Security Council to meet over Turkish troops in Iraq

United Nations Security Council will meet to discuss Turkish military deployment in Iraq after Baghdad’s letter to UNSC for withdrawal of Turkish troops

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The UN Security Council.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has decided to meet on Friday to discuss Turkish soldiers deployment in Iraq, after the Iraqi government asked the council to intervene.

Following the Dec. 4 deployment of troops to the site near Mosul, Baghdad called the move a "violation of Iraqi sovereignty" and insisted the Turkish forces be withdrawn.

Iraq's Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari sent a letter on December 11 to the 15-member UN Security Council and said, "We call on the Security Council to order Turkey to withdraw its forces immediately and to ensure, by all available means, that those forces retreat immediately and unconditionally to the internationally recognized border of the two countries."

What are Turkish troops doing in Mosul?

The Turkish military deployed approximately 150 soldiers and dispatched 20 tanks to the town of Bashiqa, located in Iraq’s northern province of Mosul, to replace troops that had been in the region for two and a half years, where they had been training Kurdish Peshmerga forces and Iraqi Army units against DAESH since last year.

The mission was initiated with the knowledge of the US-led coalition and is part of a routine military exercise against the DAESH terrorist organisation, according to Turkish security sources.

On this issue, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Iraqi government for asking UN Security Council to become involved in the matter and said, ‘’During a visit to Turkey in 2014, Haider al Abadi asked us to support them by giving military training and upon that a military camp was established in Bashiqa region of Iraq. They know this fact very well. Now I am asking why they have been silent over Turkish troops since that time?’’

Iraqi Kurdistan Regional President Masoud Barzani also clarified that the deployment of Turkish troops to the town of Bashiqa near Mosul was made in line with an agreement between Turkey and Iraq. Barzani said that the Turkish forces arrived in Iraq within the context of a deal to train forces who will participate in the Mosul operation against DAESH.

After the deployment, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi asked Turkey to withdraw its troops from the area.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also has written a letter to his Iraqi counterpart in which he clarifies the activities and the duties of the Turkish Armed Forces deployed in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, emphasizing that Ankara has no intention of harming Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Additionally, on Wednesday DAESH carried out a mortar attack on Iraqi security forces near the Turkish military training camp. During the attack, four Turkish soldiers were injured with non-life-threatening wounds.

TRTWorld and agencies