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US Urges Turkey to Defuse Tensions With Iraq Over Troops Deployment

© AFP 2021 / OZAN KOSETurkish soldiers stand guar near.
Turkish soldiers stand guar near. - Sputnik International
Washington is calling on Ankara to ease tensions with Iraq over Turkish troops deployment in the country, the White House said in a release following the phone conversation between US Vice President Joe Biden and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that Turkey will not pull out its troops from Iraq as they have been deployed in the country for training of Iraqi military and police rather than for combat, adding that Turkey, Northern Iraq Kurds and US officials will hold talks on December 21 on the current situation.

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“The leaders also discussed ongoing developments in Iraq, emphasizing the importance of defusing recent tensions between Turkey and the Government of Iraq in a manner that respects Iraqi sovereignty and fully coordinates counter-ISIL efforts with the Coalition,” the release said.

On December 4, Turkey deployed about 150 troops and 25 tanks to northern Iraq reportedly to help Iraqi soldiers to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State terrorist group, also known as Daesh. Following the deployment, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi demanded the withdrawal of the Turkish troops, which were sent into Iraqi territory without Baghdad’s approval.

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