IraqMiddle EastTurkey

Baghdad Wants to End Turkey’s Military Presence North Iraq

Baghdad stated Tuesday that it is moving towards ending Turkey’s military presence in north Iraq, which Turkey has maintained since the 1990s.

“The cabinet decided to reject the presence of any foreign bases or forces on Iraqi land and to reject the entry of any foreign military forces into Iraqi land,” a statement by Iraqi government spokesman Ali Al-Dabbagh read.

The statement recommended that “the parliament cancels or halts the extension of any treaty signed in the past with any foreign state that allows the presence of foreign forces and military bases on Iraqi land or the entry of these forces.”

AFP quoted a high-ranking Iraqi official as saying that “the decision was aimed at Turkish military bases in the north Iraq province of Dohuk, one of the three provinces that make up the Kurdistan region.”

“The treaty is the one that Saddam Hussein signed in 1995 allowing Turkish forces to have a presence in Iraq’s northern regions to pursue the Kurdistan Workers’ Party,” the official who spoke on condition of anonymity added.

The Turkish government requested on Monday for its parliament to extend the mandate for its armed forces to attack PKK bases in north Iraq.

“The cabinet condemns this decision,” Dabbagh said in a separate statement, adding that Turkish forces crossing into Iraq “is a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and security.”

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