Iraq issues ultimatum to Turkey’s troops


Giving Turkey 48 hours to withdraw its forces, Iraq has asserted that the Turkish forces entered the country illegally and warned that Ankara should face “all available options”, including recourse to the UN Security Council, if it doesn’t quit.

Iraq has been struggling to assert its sovereignty while receiving foreign assistance against the Islamic State group. Iraq said Turkish forces with tanks and artillery entered Iraq without its permission.

“In the absence of the withdrawal of these forces within 48 hours, Iraq has the right to use all available options,” including recourse to the Security Council, a statement from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s office said. T he Turkish forces entered “without the approval or knowledge of the Iraqi government,” it said.

Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, which has troops present in the area, said that Turkey had sent military experts and supplies to expand the base.  Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi also asked for the forces to be withdrawn in a telephone call with his Turkish counterpart Ismet Yilmaz, the ministry said.

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