Some Turkish troops pull out from camp outside Iraq’s Mosul: state media
Some of the several hundred Turkish troops who had been stationed in a camp outside the jihadist-controlled Iraqi city of Mosul have pulled out, state media said Monday, after the deployment infuriated Baghad.
“Some of the Turkish troops stationed in Bashiqa have transited to the north as part of a new arrangement,” Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency said, quoting military sources.
It did not specify if they were moving deeper into northern Iraqi territory controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) — which has strong relations with Ankara — or heading back to Turkey.
Anatolia said the troops were carried in a convoy of 10-12 military vehicles but did not give further details on numbers.
Turkey earlier this month announced that hundreds of troops had been deployed at the camp to protect Turkish military trainers who were training local fighters seeking to recapture Mosul from Islamic State (IS) jihadists.
But the deployment outraged the central Iraqi government in Baghdad, which bitterly complained to Ankara and said it would take the issue to the UN Security Council.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu last week sent two of the most powerful men in Turkish foreign policy — foreign ministry under-secretary Feridun Sinirlioglu and intelligence chief Hakan Fidan — to Baghdad in a bid to settle the tensions.
Davutoglu said subsequently an agreement had been reached on a “reorganisation” of the Turkish troops. But it was never made clear what form this would take.