Turkish PM explains troop activities in letter to Iraqi PM

Turkish prime minister assures Iraqi counterpart in letter saying ‘there will be no deployment’ of soldiers in northern Iraq for now

Photo by: AA (Archive)
Photo by: AA (Archive)

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu writes a letter to his Iraqi counterpart about Turkish troops in Mosul

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has written a letter to his Iraqi counterpart Haider al Abadi to clarify the activities and the duties of the Turkish Armed Forces deployed in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul.

Following al Abadi’s call for Turkish troops to be withdrawn from the town of Bashika, Davutoglu told al Abadi that Ankara had no intention of harming Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.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 Bashika [a town in Mosul] until the sensitivities of Iraq are addressed," the letter said, according to sources from the Turkish prime ministry.

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.

Davutoglu, on Saturday had described the deployment as a “routine troop activity,” reminding that the military camp in the region was not a new one, as it was set up to coordinate with Iraqi authorities, the request was made by Mosul governor’s almost a year ago.

Iraqi president, prime minister and foreign ministry have all opposed to the Turkish deployment, describing it as a “hostile act” and a “violation of international law.”

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.

TRTWorld and agencies