WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein — Following Turkey’s deployment of approximately 150 troops and 25 tanks to northern Iraq last week, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi raised objections to the deployment with the UN Security Council and NATO.
“If there is a complaint by Iraq of a violation of their sovereignty by Turkey, that should be brought, in my view to the United Nations, not to NATO,” Stavridis said on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Abadi called on NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg to influence Turkey to withdraw its troops. According to Abadi’s press service, Stoltenberg promised to convey Iraq's concerns to Turkish representatives in NATO and stressed the importance of a diplomatic solution to the situation.
“It seems to me this is not a NATO challenge,” Stavridis said, noting the issue is bilateral, between Turkey and Iraq.
He added that the new Iraqi government seeks to “exercise sovereignty” and “objects to unilateral deployments into its territory, be they Turkish, American, Russian.”
In October, Iraq established the Baghdad Information Center together with Russia, Syria and Iran in order to coordinate joint military action against the Islamic State terrorist group, which is also known as Daesh.
On Thursday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jaafari met with ambassadors of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, who reportedly classified the deployment of Turkish troops to the northern Ninevah province as a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.