Bashiqa, Duberdan camps founded with the knowledge of Baghdad, KRG gov’t says

Published 06.10.2016 15:14
Updated 06.10.2016 18:09

The Bashiqa and Duberdan camps near Mosul in northern Iraq, which have created a diplomatic spat between Baghdad and Ankara due to the presence of Turkish troops there, were founded with the knowledge and permission of the Iraqi government and Defense Ministry, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Spokesman Safin Dizayi said.

In a statement published on the official website of KRG's government, Dizayi said that numerous countries supported KRG and Baghdad with military aid, training and equipment after Daish's attacks intensified. As part of this, two camps were established in Bashiqa and Duberdan areas near Mosul in order to train police and volunteer forces, the statement said.

The KRG facilitated the establishment of the camps, Dizayi said, adding that Turkish experts had started training Mosul police and volunteer forces. The statement noted that these camps had been visited by the Iraqi defense minister.

The KRG presidency and government is not aware of the existence of any program other than this one, the statement concluded.

Meanwhile, Atheel al- Nujaifi, former Nineveh governor and now believed to have formed a 4,500-strong force that is expected to take part in the operation to liberate Mosul, said yesterday to Reuters that his men, who were trained by 200 Turkish military advisors, are more likely to succeed in stabilizing Mosul "because they are locals who can win over the population."

Nujaifi praised cooperation with the Kurds, but criticized the Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias underscoring sensitivities ahead of the Mosul campaign. "Kurds are partners on the ground. We have no problems with them. But in terms of the Shiite militias they are an alien," he said.

Arafat Karam, a Kurdish deputy in Baghdad also said yesterday in the Iraqi parliament that Sunnis and Shiites must denounce other foreign forces that are meddling in Iraq's political affairs.

"Why do they not talk about other parties, for example, Iran. They have even come to Baghdad. Why do they only talk about Turkey?" Karam said.

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