Iraqi Kurdish leader explains Turkish troops presence

Kurdish Regional Government President says that presence of Turkish forces in Iraq is within context of deal to train forces who will participate in anti-ISIL Mosul operation

Iraqi Kurdish leader explains Turkish troops presence

World Bulletin / News Desk

President of Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government Masoud Barzani said Tuesday that Turkish forces came to Iraq in coordination with Baghdad to provide military training for “Al-Hashd al-Watani” (National Mobilization) that will participate in the anti-ISIL operation in Mosul.

During a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeiera, Barzani said that “there is an agreement between Baghdad and Ankara about deploying Turkish forces near Mosul.”

He described reactions to the matter as “exaggerated.”

Barzani said that he will visit Turkey on Wednesday with the aim of enhancing coordination with Ankara in the fight against ISIL. He also said that the recent tension with Baghdad will be discussed.

Turkey on Friday deployed around 150 Turkish troops to replace forces already in the area as part of a training program for Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. 

Along with the troops, 20 to 25 tanks were also dispatched to the area. Turkish army sources said Saturday that they had been training fighters in four provinces of northern Iraq with the ultimate aim of fighting ISIL.

According to the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), the fresh deployments of Turkish military equipment and experts are meant to replace a unit already deployed in northern Iraq.

According to the Turkish military, Peshmerga forces have received training in the use of heavy machine guns, mortars and artillery. They have also received first-aid training.

More than 2,500 Peshmerga fighters, including officers, have participated in the Turkish training program, the military added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Aralık 2015, 15:55