Syria Condemns Turkey Troop Deployment to Iraq
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The Syrian Foreign Ministry in a statement on Sunday condemned the recent deployment of Turkish forces to northern Iraq, described the move as “flagrant”.
Turkey’s “flagrant” move was part of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s subversive attempts against Syria and Iraq, the statement said.
The Turkish government has violated Iraq’s sovereignty by sending soldiers to northern province of Nineveh, as they did so without the Iraqi government's approval, the statement said, adding that the deployment also counters the UN Charter and would only step up tensions in the region.
Syria’s Foreign Ministry further criticized Ankara for repeatedly violating Syrian territorial integrity and supporting militant groups fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
The statement also called on the Turkish government to withdraw its forces from Iraq immediately and respect the Arab country’s sovereignty.
Also on Sunday, Iraq's defense minister said he had told his Turkish counterpart that Turkey had deployed forces inside northern Iraq without informing or coordinating with Baghdad, noting that they must be withdrawn.
Khaled al-Obeidi said in a statement that he dismissed the Turkish defense minister’s explanation that the deployment as necessary to protect Turkish military advisers training Iraqi forces at a camp near Mosul.
Turkey has deployed 150 soldiers, who are reportedly armed with tanks and artillery, in a camp in Iraq’s Nineveh Province, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the border with Iraq, where Ankara has allegedly been training forces in an attempt to retake the provincial capital of Mosul from Daesh Takfiri terrorists.
The Iraqi Foreign Ministry on Saturday summoned the Turkish ambassador to demand that Turkey withdraw its troops from Mosul.
It said Turkish troops have entered the Iraqi territory without Baghdad's consent and that Iraq considered it "a hostile act."
However, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu described the move as a routine troop rotation and said Turkish forces had set up a camp near Mosul a year ago in coordination with Iraq.
The Iraqi government has called on the international community to provide it with more arms and training to fight Daesh, but rejected direct intervention by other countries.