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Iraq takes all necessary measures to protect its sovereignty against Turkey: Abadi

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has reiterated his strong condemnation of Turkey’s deployment of troops to northern Iraq, saying Baghdad does not consider it as an anti-terror move but as a flagrant violation of the Arab country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

In a Friday statement addressed to “Iraqi people and friends all over the world,” Abadi stated that the Turkish troops had entered Iraqi territories without the consent of the Iraqi government, adding that his country has never requested ground troops from any foreign country since it has enough soldiers and police forces to maintain its security and fight against terrorists.

“All Iraqi people, with all their resources, never cease to defend their soil and are all united to repel this blatant violation,” he added.

“We have shown our interest in having cooperation with our friends in the war against terrorists, in areas such as weaponry, training, consultancy and intelligence-sharing, but we never ever accept violation of our holy territorial integrity and national sovereignty,” Abadi further said, adding that there is a difference between cooperation in the war against terrorists and the military invasion of Iraqi territory by Turkish troops.

He also warned that Baghdad has exhausted all diplomatic means to resolve the dispute with Ankara.

File photo shows Turkish soldiers in areas close to the Iraqi border. (AFP)

In a separate statement, the Iraqi premier ordered the Foreign Ministry to lodge a formal complaint at the United Nations Security Council against Turkey’s military presence in Iraq “to order Turkey to withdraw its troops immediately, and to ensure through all available means, an immediate and unconditional withdrawal to the recognized international borders between the two countries, and not to repeat those unilateral actions that harm international relations and bring significant risk to regional security.”

On December 4, Turkey deployed some 150 soldiers, equipped with heavy weapons and backed by 20 to 25 tanks, to the outskirts of Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s Nineveh province. Ankara claims that its troops have been deployed in northern Iraq to train Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

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