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'Ankara Should Coordinate Its Military Plans With Iraq' – Turkish General

© AFP 2023 / ILYAS AKENGIN Turkish army soldiers
Turkish army soldiers - Sputnik International
In a majority vote on Tuesday, Iraqi MPs protested against the extension of the Turkish military presence in the country for another year. In an interview with Sputnik, retired Turkish Brigadier General Haldun Solmaztürk said that Ankara should coordinate its military plans with Iraq.

“Even though the Kurdish Peshmerga units are playing an important role in the Iraqi government’s effort to take Mosul away from Daesh, Baghdad is naturally worried by the rising influence of the Kurdish autonomy in northern Iraq,” General Solmaztürk, the onetime head of the Turkish General Staff’s foreign security department, told Spunik.

He added that Ankara was fully aware of this but still refused to coordinate its actions with the legitimate Iraqi government.

“Such behavior by Turkey flies in the face of international law and I find it hard to understand what Turkey is now doing in Iraq. What I also fail to understand is why Ankara has been relying on Iraqi Kurds in the upcoming operation in Mosul instead of coordinating its moves with Baghdad,” Haldun Solmaztürk said.

In December 2015, Turkey deployed 150 troops and 25 tanks to a base in the Iraqi Nineveh province, without Baghdad’s approval.

A large convoy of Turkish military including tanks and ambulances rolls  from the southeastern part of Turkey toward the Iraqi border (File) - Sputnik International
Lavrov: Russia Demands Turkey Withdraw Troops From Iraq
Ankara said its troops entered Iraq to protect Turkish instructors deployed at the base earlier to train local militias, fighting against Daesh, a terrorist group outlawed in a number of countries worldwide, including the United States and Russia.

Russia demanded that Turkey withdraw its troops from Iraq adding that the Turkish actions were completely unacceptable.

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