No forces to be deployed in Mosul until Baghdad's concerns are addressed: Turkish PM
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
AP photoAnkara would never take any step that would damage Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said in a letter to his Iraqi counterpart, Haider al-Abadi, noting that Turkey would not deploy troops in the area until Baghdad’s concerns are assuaged.
"There will be no deployment of forces to Bashiqa [Mosul town] until the sensitivities of Iraq are addressed," he was quoted by the sources as saying in the letter.
Davutoğlu also said that Turkey will keep providing support to the Iraqi government in fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and that Ankara wants to enhance its cooperation with Baghdad in that regard.
The Turkish military recently released details of a training program for Kurdish Peshmerga fighters that it has been operating in Iraq.
The army statement came after Dec. 4's deployment of around 150 Turkish troops to replace training forces already in Mosul. Along with the troops, 20 to 25 tanks were also dispatched to the area.
Turkish army sources said on Dec. 5 that they had been training fighters in four provinces of northern Iraq with the ultimate aim of fighting ISIL.
The defense ministers of Turkey and Iraq talked on the phone on Dec. 5.
In a statement, Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) spokesperson Sefin Dizayi confirmed that Turkish troop reinforcements had arrived in Mosul.
According to the KRG, the fresh deployments of Turkish military equipment and experts were meant to replace a unit already deployed in northern Iraq.
The new arrivals would be stationed at different military camps near Mosul and in the Soran and Kalacholan districts near the Iranian border.
According to the Turkish military, Peshmerga forces have received training in the use of heavy machine guns, mortars and artillery. They have also received first-aid training.
More than 2,500 Peshmerga fighters, including officers, have participated in the Turkish training program, the military added.