Abadi hints at Turkey ‘plot’ to control Nineveh
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has renewed his call on Turkey to withdraw its troops from northern Iraq, saying he hoped Ankara would help Baghdad fight Takfiri Daesh terrorists.
“I appeal to the Turkish government to help us, and withdraw their forces,” Abadi said Friday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss town of Davos.
The prime minister said the Turkish government has failed to provide an answer to the question why its soldiers are on the Iraqi soil. “We have to have an answer.”
“We in Iraq want very good neighborly relations with Turkey, we hope Turkey will help us to fight Daesh,” Abadi added.
Last month, Turkey deployed some 150 soldiers, equipped with heavy weapons and backed by 20 to 25 tanks, to the outskirts of Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s northern Nineveh Province.
Ankara claimed the deployment was part of a mission to train and equip Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the anti-Daesh fight, but Baghdad denounced the uncoordinated move as a violation of Iraq’s national sovereignty.
“I don’t know what their aim is. Is it an expansionist plot to control part of Nineveh?” Abadi noted. “I hope not … If they truly want to fight against Daesh, well, they can train our forces. … They can supply us with equipment and weapons. … They didn’t send it.”
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh mounted an offensive in the Arab country in June 2014.
Abadi said the violence perpetrated by Daesh in Iraq has left four million internal refugees.