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Turkish battalion in Iraq – no threat to Baghdad (exclusive)

Turkish battalion in Iraq – no threat to Baghdad (exclusive)

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Date: 11 December 2015 15:32

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.11

By Rufiz Hafizoglu – Trend:

Presence of Turkish tank battalion on Iraq’s territory doesn’t pose a threat to Baghdad, former head of the Iraqi “Islamic Union” political party Salahaddin Mohammed told Trend Dec.11.

He noted that the Turkish tank battalion is stationed on Iraq’s territory not for participation in the military operations against the militants of the IS terrorist group (ISIS, ISIL or Daesh).

“Turkish tank battalion have been stationed in the Iraqi province of Nineveh, to prepare Kurdish Peshmerga and Sunni militia who will participate in liberating the strategic city of Mosul from the IS militants,” said Mohammed.

He believes that the presence of Turkish servicemen in Iraq is not news, since earlier, Turkish armed units have repeatedly held military operations there against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

The former leader of the “Islamic Union” party doesn’t rule out that the firm position of Iraq’s central government on Turkey is related to external political factors.

However, Mohammed doesn’t think that the crisis in Baghdad-Ankara relations will grow into a military conflict, since he believes that the two countries can resolve this issue through dialogue.

Turkish armed forces have a tank battalion stationed in the Iraqi province of Nineveh, tasked to prepare Kurdish Peshmerga military forces to fight the IS terrorist organization. The Turkish side states that there was reached an agreement with Iraqi authorities on this issue.

This is while previously, the Iraqi authorities accused Turkey of military invasion and demanded the Turkish troops to leave the country. In addition, a number of Iraqi MPs demanded from the authorities to launch a military operation against the Turkish troops.

Earlier, Turkish Foreign Ministry said that Ankara intends neither to deploy its new military units to Iraq nor withdraw the existing ones.

Edited by SI

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