PM Abadi Orders Iraqi Air Force on Alert

PM Abadi Orders Iraqi Air Force on Alert

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Monday issued an order for Air Force to be on alert as a deadline to Turkey to pull out its troops from the Arab country approaches.

Sources in Abadi’s office said on Monday that the Iraqi premier has demanded that members of the Iraqi Air Force be ready to defend the country’s “territorial integrity and sovereignty,” according to the Sumeriyah news channel.

The order came amid rising tensions between Baghdad and Ankara over the latter’s move on Friday to start the deployment of a battalion in areas close to the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

Iraq has strongly condemned the deployment of the Turkish battalion on its territory, branding the uncoordinated move, which began on Friday, a violation of its national sovereignty.

Later on Sunday, Iraq gave Ankara 48 hours to withdraw its forces or face “all available options,” including recourse to the UN Security Council, Press TV reported.

Sources in Ankara said Monday that Turkey has begun pulling out bulk of its troops from northern Iraq after Baghdad threatened to pursue the case in full capacity.

A report on the website of the Turkish daily Hurriyet cited sources as saying that a total number of 600 troops Turkey had stationed in a camp around the Iraqi city of Mosul some 350 have been withdrawn.

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