Russia says Turkish troops’ presence in Iraq without Baghdad’s permission ‘unacceptable’


MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. Moscow believes that the presence of Turkey’s forces in Iraq without Baghdad’s approval is unacceptable, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The illegal presence of Turkish forces in Iraq near Mosul is a “very serious factor of tensions,” the ministry said in a statement, stressing that the troops “have arrived there without asking for the permission of the legitimate Iraqi government.”

“We consider that this presence is unacceptable,” the ministry said.

On December 4, Turkey sent around 130 soldiers, tanks and artillery weapons to northern Iraq where Ankara is training Kurdish peshmerga fighters for attacks on Mosul, seized by the Islamic State group’s gunmen.

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry said Turkey had deployed forces without Baghdad’s permission and warned that it considered the step as a “hostile act.” On December 6, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Baghdad had the right to take any action, including turning to the UN Security Council if Turkey’s troops failed to leave Iraq’s territory within 48 hours.