Turkey Says Will Discuss Troop Presence in Iraq Once Daesh Removed

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Turkey will discuss with Iraq the presence of Turkish troops at the Bashiqa camp near Mosul after the area is cleared of Daesh, and the matter will be resolved in a friendly manner, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said Wednesday.

Turkey Says Will Discuss Troop Presence in Iraq Once Daesh Removed

"Turkey respects Iraq's territorial integrity and unity, and the presence of our troops in Bashiqa is not a choice but a necessity," Isik told reporters in Krikkale, a city east of the capital Ankara, in comments broadcast live, Reuters reported.

He said Turkish troops in Iraq had carried out a successful mission and killed more than 700 Daesh militants.

Turkey's deployment of some 500 Turkish troops into the Bashiqa region northeast of the Daesh-held city of Mosul has triggered a chorus of protest from the Iraqi government, political groups and people.

Last December, Turkey deployed a number of soldiers, equipped with heavy arms and backed by tanks, to the Bashiqa military camp on the outskirts of Mosul.

Ankara claimed the deployment was part of a mission to train and equip Iraqi Kurdish forces in the fight against Daesh. However, Baghdad has repeatedly denounced the move as a violation of its sovereignty and called for the withdrawal of Turkish troops.

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