Barzani says Turkish forces deployed in Iraq over agreement

Iraqi Kurdistan Regional President Masoud Barzani says deployment of Turkish troops made in line with agreement between Turkey and Iraq

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Iraqi Kurdistan Regional President Masoud Barzani said on Tuesday that 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 Mosul operation against DAESH.

Barzani also said that the incident of deployment was exaggerated and they were not a party intending to fuel the problem.

‘’We will discuss the issue during my visit to Ankara tomorrow and it is a positive thing that Turkish forces arrived to fight against DAESH,’’ he said.

With respect to the Russian bombardment in Syria, Barzani said that ‘’we are pleased with their efforts against DAESH however the closure of Iraq Kurdistan region’s airspace due to Russian airstrikes is a problem for us. Moscow and Baghdad are concerned parties over this problem and they should solve it.’’

The Turkish Military on Friday 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 have been in the region for two and a half years, where they have been training Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

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.

Following Iraqi Prime Minister al Abadi’s call for Turkish troops to be withdrawn from the town of Bashiqa, Davutoglu told al Abadi that Ankara had no intention of harming Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“There will be no deployment of forces to Bashiqa [a town in Mosul] until the sensitivities of Iraq are addressed," Davutoglu said.

Davutoglu also assured that Turkey will continue providing support to Baghdad in its fight against DAESH.

“Turkey is ready to deepen its cooperation with Iraq in coordination and consultation. Those who are disturbed by the cooperation of Turkey and Iraq and who want to end it should not be allowed to attain their goal," he added.

TRTWorld and agencies