Iraq urges UNSC resolution against Turkey troop deployment
Iraq has asked the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to adopt a resolution, urging Turkey to end its “illegal incursion” and immediately withdraw its troops from the Arab country’s soil.
During a Friday meeting of the 15-nation council, which convened at Iraq’s request, Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said his country has exhausted “all diplomatic channels” for Ankara to pull out its forces.
“Iraq has spared no effort to exhaust all diplomatic channels and bilateral negotiations with Turkey, in order to withdraw its forces that are unauthorized in Iraq,” he said.
Tensions have been running high since December 4, when Turkey deployed some 150 soldiers and heavy weapons, including up to 25 tanks, to the outskirts of Mosul.
Turkey reportedly withdrew some troops from the Bashiqa camp, moving them to another base inside Iraq’s Kurdistan region, but Iraq says they should pull out completely.
During the UNSC session, al-Jaafari further denounced “the Turkish occupation and the illegal incursion against the will of a founding member state of the United Nations.”
The top Iraqi diplomat said Turkey’s “violation against the borders of a sovereign neighboring state” constitutes a “hostile act” which is in breach of international norms and regulations.
“Iraq rejects any military movements in the area of counter-terrorism without the knowledge of the Iraqi federal authorities and its approval,” he added.
Jaafari called on Ankara to “withdraw its troops immediately, and to ensure, with all available means and measures, immediate and unconditional withdrawal to the international recognized borders between the two countries.”
The Iraqi minister said Turkey must “ensure the non-recurrence of such unilateral actions which jeopardize international relations.”
Turkey’s envoy to the UN Halit Cevik criticized Iraq for taking its complaint to the UNSC, accusing Baghdad of undermining what he called global fight against Daesh.
Over the past few days, thousands of Iraqi protesters have staged demonstrations across the country to denounce the Turkish deployment of military forces.
Iraq’s top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has called on the government to show “no tolerance” toward any party that violates the country’s sovereignty.
Baghdad lodged a formal complaint with the UN Security Council over the incursion on October 11.