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Turkish forces in Iraq with govt consent: US official

Turkish Army 'began to train some of these forces on the ground at the invitation of the Iraqi government' says US official

14.10.2016
Turkish forces in Iraq with govt consent: US official

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON 

Turkish forces entered Iraq with Baghdad's consent, a senior State Department official said Thursday.

The Turkish military “began to train some of these forces on the ground at the invitation of the Iraqi government”, according to the official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The official stressed that as long as Turkish forces continue to have the consent of Iraq's government their presence there is "fine".

“They need to be coordinated with the Iraqi government,” he said.

Turkey and Iraq have engaged in a war of words about the presence of Turkish troops in northern Iraq's Bashiqa.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi asked for the formation of a military base in Bashiqa. Erdogan told Abadi to "know his limits," reminding him that Turkey’s military presence in Iraq was due to a demand made by Baghdad.

The countries have summoned respective ambassadors for consultations.

The spat "is not constructive", the U.S. official said as anti-Daesh forces prepare to oust the group from its Iraqi capital, Mosul.

Turkey says its troops are going to be there to prevent any potential sectarian conflict in and around Mosul after the city is taken from Daesh.

The operation could begin as soon as next week if preparations are completed. 



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