A+ A-

Iraq rejects Turkey's participation in Mosul battle

BAGHDAD, Oct 3 (KUNA) -- Iraqi Foreign Ministry on Monday condemned as "provocative" a recent statement by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressing desire to take part in planned battle for control of the northern city of Mosul, a main stronghold for the so-called Islamic State (IS).
A ministry spokesman said Erdogan's statement is tantamount to flagrant meddling in Iraq's internal affairs and breach of principles that govern States' bilateral relations and good neighborliness.
"Such a statement strains the bilateral ties," the spokesman said, noting anew that Ankara has ignored Baghdad's calls for withdrawing Turkish troops deployed on Iraqi territories.
Erdogan, in an address on Saturday to a parliamentary session, during which the legislators voted in favor of extending mandate of the Turkish military forces in Syria and Iraq for one year, called for allowing Turkish troops take part in the planned battle for retaking Mosul.
Ankara had deployed around 300 troops in the Bashiqa camp, located near the IS-controlled Mosul. The military forces had been sent into Iraq, as officials had said, to train government forces.
Erdogan said he believed that Mosul could be taken from the IS but warned Baghdad and Turkey's Western allies that Ankara had to be involved in any operation and included in the decision-making process. "Turkey cannot be left off the table. The others don't have such a border (with Iraq). They may want us to stay as spectators but that decision is also going to be made here." (End) ahh.rk