Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday that the presence of Turkish forces in Mosul's Bashiqa town represents a strong stand against terrorism and does not pose a threat to the territorial integrity of Iraq.
"We defend Iraq’s territorial integrity more than anyone. No one should doubt Turkey’s sincere intentions. Similarly, Turkey has an unquestionable principle in terms of the fight against terrorism," the prime minister said at a press conference in Ankara's Esenboga Airport before an official visit to Bulgaria.
Turkey has been fighting terror without discriminating between the identity, religion or ethnicity of the terrorists, Davutoglu added.
According to official sources, some of the Turkish troops deployed in Bashiqa were transferred to another part of northern Iraq on Monday.
Following the relocation of Turkish troops in northern Iraq, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday said the "rearrangement" is a military necessity.
Following the Dec. 4 deployment of the troops to the site near Mosul, Baghdad called the move a "violation of Iraqi sovereignty" and insisted the Turkish forces be withdrawn.
Turkey said that the 150 soldiers and up to 25 tanks were stationed in Bashiqa to protect Turkish servicemen who provide training to Iraqi volunteers against DAESH.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said the soldiers in Iraq were there for training purposes at the request of the Iraqi government for almost one year.