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Minister says Turkey army won’t leave Iraq

Minister says Turkey army won’t leave Iraq

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Date: 23 December 2015 10:22

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 23

By Rufiz Hafizoglu – Trend:

The Turkish army won’t withdraw from Iraq, Minister of National Defense of Turkey Ismet Yilmaz said, the Turkish Anadolu news agency reported Dec.

Yilmaz said that Turkey and Iraq have resolved the differences the two countries had over the presence of the Turkish army in the country, according to the agency.

The tank battalion of the Turkish army is currently stationed in Iraq’s Nineveh province to train militia there for fighting the IS terrorist group (aka ISIS, ISIL or Daesh).

The deployment of troops to Iraq, as Turkey said, was agreed with Baghdad. However, Iraqi authorities have accused Ankara of a military intervention and demanded that the forces leave the country. A number of Iraqi MPs even demanded from the authorities to launch a military operation against the Turkish troops.

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Ministry said Ankara doesn’t intend to dispatch new forces to Iraq or take out the military contingent that is already in the country.

Iraq also reportedly said it will impose economic sanctions on Ankara in response to Turkey’s not withdrawing the tank battalion from Nineveh. To sign any contracts with Turkish companies can be prohibited for Iraqi companies as a part of the economic sanctions.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier said that the Turkish tank battalion is in Iraq as part of the agreement with Baghdad. The aggravation of relations of the central government of Iraq with Ankara is due to the influence of external forces, according to him.

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