Turkish MFA condemns Iraq's decision to remove Bashiqa camp

Turkish MFA condemns Iraq's decision to remove Bashiqa camp

Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned on Tuesday the Iraqi parliament's decision to remove the Bashiqa camp where the Turkish military trains local Iraqi forces.

The Iraqi parliament, in a written statement, said that it did not accept Turkey's military presence in Bashiqa, 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of troops to the site near Mosul, calling it a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and insisting the Turkish forces be withdrawn.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.

Soldiers were sent to Bashiqa at the request of Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan previously said that al-Abadi had asked Turkey for help after Daish terrorists took control of Iraq's second-largest city Mosul, and that Turkey expressed its full readiness to help Iraq.

President Erdoğan had said that Turkey asked Iraq to allocate a suitable location for the deployment of Turkish soldiers to carry out the functions of training and that Iraq had chosen the camp site.

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