Obama Calls on Turkey to Withdraw Unauthorized Forces in Iraq – White House

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Turkish security forces block the road leading to Cizre, on September 9, 2015

US President Barack Obama called on Turkey to withdraw any military forces not authorized by the Iraqi government during his call with Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi of Iraq, the White House announced in a statement.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US president’s remarks come after Turkey, in early December, deployed some 150 troops and 25 tanks to a base in the Iraqi Nineveh province, without Baghdad’s approval. Iraq regards the deployment as illegal.

“President Obama reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to Iraq’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and called on Turkey to do the same by withdrawing any military forces that have not been authorized by the Iraqi government,” the statement read on Wednesday.

Turkish authorities however, said that their troops had entered Iraq to ensure the security of Turkish instructors deployed to the base to train local militias, fighting against the Islamic State terrorist group (known as Daesh in Arabic and prohibited in a range of countries, including Russia).

Following the deployment, the Arab League condemned Ankara for its military incursion into Iraqi territory and demanded that the Turkish government withdraw its troops.

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