Arab League opposes Turkish troops in Iraq: TV

Baghdad:The Arab League, a 22-member regional organization of Arab countries, has reportedly rejected the deployment of Turkish troops to northern Iraq as “interference” in the domestic affairs of the country.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the secretary general of the Arab League, told Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari in a telephone conversation initiated by Jaafari on Friday that the Arab body rejected Turkey’s troop deployment and military intervention in Iraq, supported the security, stability and unity of Iraq, and refused any outside interference in the country’s internal affairs, Arabic-language al-Forat news agency reported.

He reportedly added that his Cairo-based organization will step up its efforts and approach various world countries and international organizations to pressure the Turkish government into ending its violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

Jaafari had made the call to urge the 22-member regional organization of Arab countries to adopt a position supportive of Baghdad and reject the Turkish deployment near the militant-held city of Mosul.

Baghdad says the presence of the Turkish military in Iraqi territory without its approval is a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.

Jaafari said his country had called on the international community to stand by its side in the war against the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, and urged Turkey to end its violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.

On Thursday, an unnamed senior Iraqi security official warned the “occupying Turkish forces” against engagement in a looming military offensive to liberate Mosul from Daesh terrorists.

Baghdad “seeks to make clear that there is absolutely no role for Turkish forces in the Iraqi sphere,” he said. “Any movement or intervention by Turkish during the military operations (to retake Mosul), would be faced with a very strong response.”

The Iraqi army and pro-government forces have been preparing for months for the assault on Daesh in Mosul, which slipped into the hands of the terrorist group in 2014.

The remarks came a day after the Iraqi Foreign Ministry called for an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting over the presence of the several hundred Turkish troops inside Iraq, and Turkish parliament’s extension by another year of a mandate allowing cross-border military incursions into Iraq.

On Wednesday, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry summoned Turkish Ambassador to Baghdad Faruk Kaymakci over the parliament’s decision.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has also called for the withdrawal of Turkish soldiers from Iraq.  

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