Turkish troops will continue to stay in Iraq's Bashiqa as long as necessary, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said Wednesday.
Speaking at Anadolu Agency's Editors' Desk in Ankara, Kurtulmuş said: "Turkey's presence in Bashiqa is legitimate. We will continue our presence there as long as Turkey is needed there."
He said Turkey's presence was for the purpose of supporting the people of Mosul.
He added the problems of Daish-held Mosul city would not resolve if terrorist groups like the PYD and the YGP get involved.
The Iraqi parliament, in a written statement, said that it did not accept Turkey's military presence in Bashiqa, which is connected to Mosul.
The Bashiqa camp, located about 30 kilometers northeast of Mosul, 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of troops to the site near Mosul, calling it a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and insisting that Turkish forces be withdrawn.
Turkey said that the 150 soldiers and up to 25 tanks were stationed in Bashiqa to protect Turkish servicemen training Iraqi volunteers to fight Daish. The training mission had reportedly been in operation since March 2015 and was not assigned to combat duties.
The soldiers were sent to Bashiqa at the request of Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.
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