Iraq Warns of ‘Regional War’ over Turkey Military Presence

Source: TeleSur

The Iraqi prime minister said Turkish troops in north are an occupying force and a military confrontation could ensue unless they evacuate the region.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has warned Turkey that it risks triggering a regional war by keeping troops in Iraq, as each summoned the other’s ambassador amid a growing divide between the two countries.

 

Relations between the two regional powers are already strained by the Syrian civil war and the rise of the Islamic State group.

Turkey’s parliament voted last week to extend its military presence in Iraq for a further year to take on what it called “terrorist organisations” — a likely reference to Kurdish PKK rebels as well as the Islamic State group. The PKK largely operates from mountainous regions in southern Turkey and northern Iraq.

Iraq’s parliament responded Tuesday night by condemning the vote and calling for Turkey to pull its estimated 2,000 troops out of areas across northern Iraq.

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