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Thousands of Iraqis in Baghdad, Basra protest Turkish deployment in north

Thousands of Iraqis in Baghdad, Basra protest Turkish deployment in north

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Date: 12 December 2015 20:27

Thousands of Iraqis protested on Saturday against Ankara's deployment of troops to a base near the northern city of Mosul, with some burning Turkish flags and threatening violence against the soldiers for what they see as a violation of sovereignty, Reuters reported.

News of the deployment of 150 Turkish soldiers earlier this month triggered a crisis between Ankara and Baghdad, which has appealed to the United Nations Security Council to demand their immediate and unconditional withdrawal.

Ankara has refused, saying the troops were part of an international mission to train and equip Iraqi forces to fight Islamic State, which still controls a large part of the country. Baghdad denies inviting such a force.

At least 4,000 demonstrators gathered in Tahrir Square in central Baghdad on Saturday, and several thousand more in the oil city of Basra in the south, including Shi'ite militia members who held up banners reading "Death to Turkey. Death to Erdogan".



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