The Iraqi government on Tuesday stuck to its demand of complete Turkish withdrawal from its territory, stressing that Ankara’s partial pullout the previous day was not enough.

Turkey deployed soldiers and tanks to a military camp in northern Iraq earlier this month, a move which Baghdad condemned as an illegal incursion.

Turkish and Iraqi officials said Turkish forces and equipment were withdrawn from the camp early on Monday, but the trainers apparently remained, and Ankara has other military sites within northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.

The cabinet “renewed its firm position on the necessity of a response from neighboring Turkey to the Iraqi demand for a complete withdrawal from Iraqi territory and respect for its national sovereignty,” Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s office said in a statement.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Monday that “there has been a shifting of the (military) forces, and that Ankara did “what was necessary to do from a military point of view”.

But Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu indicated that forces remained at the training site, saying the number of troops there and at other locations “may increase or decrease as required”.

 

AFP

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