Turkey, Politics

Some Turkish troops leave northern Iraq's Bashiqa camp

Soldiers leave in convoy for another site in northern region, military source says

Servet Günerigök   | 14.12.2015
Some Turkish troops leave northern Iraq's Bashiqa camp

Ankara

ANKARA 

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said the "rearrangement" of Turkish troops in Iraq is part of military necessity.

Earlier on Monday, a Turkish military source said that some Turkish troops deployed at the Bashiqa training camp in northern Iraq had been withdrawn to another part of northern Iraq.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the force left the camp in a convoy of 10 to 12 vehicles but did not say how many soldiers left the camp, when or where they were headed. An unspecified number of tanks also left.

"Turkey has always done what military necessities [require]... we have taken steps necessary for rearrangement as we mentioned in the statement issued by the Prime Ministry," Davutoglu told A Haber channel Monday.

"Reinforcement is done when a threat is in question. When the dose of threat decreases, reinforcement is dispatched to another place, but the activity there continues,” he said.

Davutoglu did not reveal the location where the Turkish troops were sent due to "security" concerns.

"Where they are dispatched, what happens to them, such [details about the] activities [are] of military privacy, otherwise, the safety of our soldiers will be in danger," the prime minister added.

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of troops to the site near Mosul, calling it a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and insisting the Turkish force be withdrawn.

Turkey said that the 150 soldiers and up to 25 tanks were stationed at Bashiqa to protect Turkish servicemen training Iraqi volunteers to fight Daesh.

The training mission has been in operation since March and is not assigned to combat duties.

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