Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Tuesday that unwanted Turkish troops in Iraq could lead to a regional war, which he was also quick to state that there was no desire to involve the Iraqi military in direct confrontations against the Turkish troops situated in northern Iraq.
Prime Minister al-Abadi had this to say on the issue via a press statement:
“The presence of foreign troops in Iraq to control the situation is not permitted and unacceptable. We asked the Turkish side, more than once, not to interfere in the Iraqi affairs. The presence of Turkish troops in the country is considered a threat to Iraq’s sovereignty, and the international coalition is also condemning the presence of those troops in Iraq. The presence of Turkish troops in Iraq is not justified, because ISIS is closer to the Turkish border in Syria than from Mosul.”
The Iraqi prime minister also condemned the Turkish leadership’s behavior and called it ‘unacceptable’ for Turkey to put its troops within the Iraq border without permission. Turkey has maintained a military presence in northern Iraq since November 2015 and despite repeated requests to vacate the area, Turkey maintains its presence in the region much to the dismay and strong disapproval of the Iraqi government. However, Iraq has no desire for a direct military confrontation with Turkey in order to remove Turkish troops from northern Iraq.
The Iraqi Council of Representatives voted unanimously to reject the Turkish parliament’s decision to extend its military mission in Iraq and Syria for one year and decided to summon the Turkish Ambassador to Iraq in order to officially protest the decision.