Video shows former Iraqi defense minister moralizing Turkish trained troops in Bashiqa camp

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 14.10.2016 17:18
Updated 14.10.2016 18:42

A recently emerged video with the watermark of Iraq's defense ministry shows Iraq's former Defense Minister Khaled al-Obaidi visiting Bashiqa camp and moralizing the soldiers trained by the Turkish military.

The Iraqi parliament decided last week to remove Bashiqa camp where the Turkish military is training local Iraqi forces, claiming the camp was made without Iraq's consent and that it was a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

In the emerged video, Obaidi addresses soldiers in the Bashiqa camp and says "Iraqi forces take full responsibility for you, and we will never leave your side."

"In fact," he says, "our prime minister has sent me exclusively to see the situation in the camp."

Obaidi also says that he sees hope in the soldiers trained by the Turkish military, and tells them to be prepared physically and psychologically for the operation to liberate Mosul from the Daish terror organization.

The presence of Turkish forces in Bashiqa, located about 30 kilometers northeast of Mosul, had led to a diplomatic spat between Turkey and Iraq, with Turkey saying that Iraqi authorities had been notified of the deployment and approved it, visiting the camp numerous times.

Turkey said that Iraq's objection to the troops, amid the presence of Iranian Shiite militias and anti-Daish coalition forces, is pointless, while warning that the inclusion of Shiite militias and PKK terrorists in the Mosul operation might lead to ethnic and sectarian conflict.

The camp first came to the forefront in December last year during a routine military shipment. Baghdad complained about the Dec. 4 deployment of troops to the site near Mosul, calling it a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and insisting the Turkish forces be withdrawn.

Turkey said that 150 soldiers and up to 25 tanks were stationed in Bashiqa to protect Turkish servicemen who were training Iraqi volunteers to fight Daish terrorists. The training mission had reportedly been in operation since March 2015 and was not assigned to combat duties.

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