News Brief — Dec 14, 2014
Iran’s Fars News reported Monday that Iraqi parliament member Salem Al-Shabak said that Turkish troops have finally withdrawn from near Mosul, Iraq.
The withdrawal of Turkish forces came after agreement between the central government in Baghdad and Kurdistan’s regional government
“Only Turkish advisers and technicians will remain at the military base as per the agreement,” the reports said.
Last week, Turkey deployed hundreds of soldiers near the city of Mosul in Nineveh province on the pretext of providing military training to the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.
Iraq’s popular forces had vowed to strike at the troops if Turkey continued to ignore calls for an immediate pullout.
Head of Iraq’s Badr Organization Hadi al-Ameri warned that his forces would strike at the troops if they didn’t withdraw.
“The Iraqi popular and security forces can raze the Turkish troops from the face of the earth completely,” Ameri said on Sunday.
Referring to rallies held in Baghdad in recent days protesting the presence of Turkish forces in the country, Ameri said, “The Iraqi people’s rallies mean their support for the government’s action to force out the Turkish forces and end the violation of the country’s sovereignty.”
Last Monday, Ameri had warned that his forces are fully prepared to launch strikes at the Turkish troops in Iraq.
“The Turkish government should know that we will destroy all its tanks if it does not withdraw from the city of Mosul”, he said.
Although Turkish troops may now be withdrawing from Iraq that may not be the end of it as President Erdogan now seems intent of asserting Turkey’s regional power.
Latest reports indicate that Turkish forces have only engaged in a partial pullout and it’s unclear whether those forces that have pulled out have returned to Turkey or simply relocated to somewhere else in Iraq.
Lack of confirmation on this has prompted Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to reiterate his call for an immediate and “complete withdrawal” of all Turkish forces from northern Iraq.