Iraq’s foreign minister has reiterated demands that Turkish troops pull out of northern Iraq, warning Ankara that Baghdad may otherwise have to consider military action, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.
A Turkey-Iraq spat flared up in early December after Turkey deployed reinforcements to a camp in northern Iraq’s Bashiqa region where Ankara is helping train Sunni and Kurdish fighters to battle Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.
The deployment riled Baghdad, which considers the new troops an illegal incursion and which subsequently demanded their immediate and complete withdrawal.
After Iraq’s demands, Turkey began withdrawing the troops but not completely.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Dec. 30 that Baghdad will continue to pursue peaceful means, but that if there is no other solution and if “fighting is imposed on us, we will consider it to protect our sovereignty.”