WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein — Last week, Turkey deployed about 150 troops and 25 tanks to northern Iraq, reportedly to help train Iraqi soldiers to fight the Islamic State, also known as Daesh.
"What you see is a fracturing of interests in Iraq because a lack of security," Graham said. "[W]hat Turkey is trying to do is take some of the security matters into its own hands."
Last week, Turkey deployed about 150 troops and 25 tanks to northern Iraq, reportedly to help train Iraqi soldiers to fight the Islamic State, also known as Daesh.
Following the deployment, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi demanded the withdrawal of the Turkish troops. Abadi registered Iraq’s concerns over Turkey’s unauthorized troop presence with NATO and the United Nations.
Graham, who recently visited officials in Iraq, said he understood Abadi’s concern over the Turkish deployment.
"[The concern] comes from the lack of security and confidence that there is a plan, a strategy, to put Iraq back together again," he stated.
Graham also noted that Turkey’s military deployment, which was not sanctioned by the US-led anti-Islamic State coalition or NATO, was based on the country being "bewildered by our [US] strategy" of training indigenous forces in Syria who are opposed to Turkish interests.
Among the US-trained ground forces in Syria are the Kurdish YPG, which Turkish leadership has called a terrorist group.
The United States has not condemned the unauthorized military deployment by Turkey. On Thursday, the US Department of State said that both Turkey and Iraq should find an appropriate resolution to the situation and remain focused on the fight against the Islamic State.