At UN, Turkey accuses Iraq of undermining ISIL fight
UNITED NATIONS - Reuters
AFP photoTurkey accused Iraq on Dec. 18 of undermining the global fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) by taking its complaint about the deployment of Turkish troops in northern Iraq to the United Nations Security Council.
The 15-member council met on the issue on Dec. 18 at the request of Iraq and Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari who asked the body to adopt a resolution demanding Turkey withdraw its troops immediately.
Jaafari said the request for council action was a last resort.
"Iraq has spared no effort to exhaust all diplomatic channels and bilateral negotiations with Turkey, in order to withdraw its forces that are unauthorized in Iraq," he said.
Turkey deployed around 150 troops in the Bashiqa area earlier this month with the stated aim of training an Iraqi militia to fight ISIL. Turkey withdrew some troops this week, moving them to another base inside Iraq's Kurdistan region, but Baghdad said they should pull out completely.
Turkey's U.N. Ambassador Halit Çevik said the deployment had been taken out of context and that additional troops had been sent to the camp to provide force protection due to increasing threats.
He said Ankara believed it had taken sufficient measures to de-escalate the situation, so efforts could be re-focused in combating ISIL militants, who have seized swaths of Iraq and Syria.
"From the outset, we tried to resolve this matter through bilateral channels. Because taking this issue to various international platforms would serve no other purpose than to undermine the solidarity of the international community against Daesh," Çevik told the Security Council.
He said Turkey has never had and will never have any interest in violating Iraq's sovereignty.