Turkey will not allow a PKK presence in northern Iraq's Sinjar district, east of Mosul, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said Thursday, according to a statement by the ministry.
The minister's remarks came during a meeting with Iraq’s ambassador to Ankara Hisham Ali Akbar Ibrahim al-Alawi.
Stressing the importance of the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq, Isik said Turkey's contribution to the international coalition and its support to train fighters in Bashiqa camp "aims to rescue Iraq from Daesh and other terrorist groups".
Isik said Turkish presence in Bashiqa would not be needed when the security and stability in Iraq was assured once again.
Isik reiterated his satisfaction with the progress made by Iraqi security forces against the terrorist organization Daesh in and around Mosul. He also pointed out the serious risks that could arise in the intervention of elements totally foreign to Mosul and Tal Afar during these operations.
Isik also pointed out the PKK presence in Sinjar district and said Turkey "will not allow it".
Underlining the historical ties between Turkey and Iraq, Isik and al-Alawi agreed that "there are no troubles that two countries cannot fix by face-to-face dialogues".
Iraq has suffered a devastating security vacuum since mid-2014, when Daesh captured the northern city of Mosul and overran large swathes of territory in the northern and western parts of the country.
According to the UN, more than 3.4 million people are now displaced in Iraq -- more than half of them children -- while more than 10 million are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.
*Reporting by Sarp Ozer; Writing by Sibel UgurluAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.