In the face of fierce protests from the Iraqi government and the international community, Turkey is refusing to withdraw troops from northern Iraq. Over the weekend, Ankara deployed approximately 600 additional troops to a camp in Iraq’s Ninevah province, close to the city of Mosul.
"It is our duty to provide security for our soldiers providing training there," Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, told Kanal 24. "Everybody is present in Iraq…The goal of all of them is clear. Train-and-equip advisory support is being provided. Our presence there is not a secret."
But the Iraqi government, viewing the move as a clear breach of sovereignty, condemned the action, and gave Turkey 48 hours to remove its troops.
But Turkey has refused to comply with the order, insisting it informed the Iraqi government of its actions, and that there was demand for Turkish support in the area. "The military personnel for training will stay. Not because we them [there] particularly but because there is a demand from the Iraqi side," a Turkish official told reporters, according to the Guardian. "The discussion with the central government still continues."
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