Date: 20 December 2015 03:22
The Turkish government has said miscommunication led to a recent row with Baghdad over the presence of Turkish troops in northern Iraqi town of Bashiqa to support training of Iraqi forces against Daesh, Anadolu agency reported.
"Turkey reiterates its support for Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and acknowledges the miscommunication with the Government of Iraq over the recent deployments of Turkish protection forces to support training activities for Iraqi forces in their campaign against Daesh in northern Iraq," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in written statement issued late on Saturday.
The statement said Ankara will pursue withdrawing the troops in Bashika of Mosul province.
"Turkey, in recognition of the Iraqi concerns and in accordance with the requirements of the fight against Daesh, is continuing to move military forces from Nineveh province that were the source of the miscommunication," it said.
The foreign ministry also reiterated Ankara's readiness to cooperate with Baghdad for closer coordination of joint efforts to defeat and destroy the terrorist group, "as a committed member of the global coalition against Daesh”.
"Turkey reaffirms its commitment to deepen cooperation with the Global Coalition to Counter Daesh," it added.
A Turkish military source said earlier Monday that part of the Turkish troops deployed in Bashiqa had been transferred to another part of northern Iraq.
Baghdad complained about the Dec. 4 deployment of troops to the site near Mosul, calling it a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and insisting the Turkish forces be withdrawn.
Turkey said that the 150 soldiers and up to 25 tanks were stationed in Bashiqa to protect Turkish servicemen training Iraqi volunteers to fight Daesh. The training mission has been in Iraq since March and is not assigned to combat duties.
On Tuesday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the presence of Turkish forces in Bashiqa does not pose a threat to the territorial integrity of Iraq but represents a strong entity against terrorism.
In a phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan late Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama asked his counterpart to take additional steps in order to ease the tension with Baghdad.
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