02:45 GMT10 August 2020
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    Turkish Troops Deployed to Iraq (83)

    Thousands of protesters, most of them members of Iraq’s Shiite paramilitary forces, gathered in downtown Baghdad on Saturday demanding the pullout of Turkish troops from the country, local TV Alsumaria reported.

    Turkey sent troops and tanks to a base in northern Iraq last week  setting off an angry diplomatic row with Baghdad.

    Ankara insists it deployed forces near Mosul to protect military instructors working with Iraqi soldiers at the base, but Baghdad demands their immediate withdrawal and brought the matter before the UN Security Council.

    Saturday’s protest rally in Baghdad was initiated by paramilitary groups of the Hashad al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization Forces, dominated by Iran-backed Shiite militias.

    "As the leader of a military brigade, I am not fully satisfied with the government's action, and we are here to say that Iraq's patience has run out," Ali Rubaie, the commander of a unit  stationed west of Baghdad, told AFP on Saturday.

    The demonstration was mostly attended by young men in military uniforms and was well organized, with large processions converging on Tahrir Square in central Baghdad.

    Turkish Troops Deployed to Iraq (83)


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