Iraqi People Demonstrate against Violation of Sovereignty by Turkey
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iraqi citizens held demonstrations in front of Turkish embassy in Baghdad to protest at Ankara’s violation of Iraqi sovereignty, urging the Turkish government to remove the forces it sent illegally to the north of the Arab country.
Tens of Iraqi people gathered in front of the embassy on Monday, where Iraqi security forces were standing around them in a protective ring.
Hadi al-Ameri, the Secretary-General of Iraq’s Badr Organization, said if Turkey refuses to withdraw its forces, Iraqi tanks would crush their positions.
Turkey deployed hundreds of personnel to a camp in the Bashiqa region near the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-controlled city of Mosul, calling it a routine rotation to train Iraqis to retake Mosul.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has warned Turkey that "only 24 hours" were left for Ankara to remove its forces.
"We must be prepared to defend Iraq and its sovereignty," said Abadi, who visited Iraq's air force headquarters on Monday, according to his office.
"The air force has the capability... to protect Iraq and its borders from any threat it faces."
Earlier on Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Abadi in a letter that Ankara would halt further transfers of troops to Iraq until Baghdad's "sensitivities" were placated, but did not agree to withdraw the existing force from the country.
Davutoglu said the activity was set up at the Mosul governor's request and in coordination with the Iraqi Defense Ministry.
But Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi said he told his Turkish counterpart the latest deployment had been made without informing or coordinating with Baghdad, and should be withdrawn.