The US has abandoned its Turkish anti-Islamic coalition partner, as the Iraqi government called for an emergency UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting, accusing Turkey of violating Iraqi sovereignty.
Turkish ground troops, stationed in Iraq, are not acting as part of the US-led coalition, spokesman for the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF), an anti-Islamic State coalition consisting of 65 countries, Col. John Dorrian, said on Thursday. An emergency UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting has been called by Baghdad that says that Ankara is violating Iraqi sovereignty.
As the AP news agency reported, citing Dorrian, Turkey is operating “on its own” in Iraq. According to the spokesman for the CJTF, the coalition’s position is that every unit “should be here with the coordination or and with the permission of the government of Iraq.”
On October 6, Baghdad called for an emergency meeting of the UNSC in order to discuss the issue. As spokesman for the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, Ahmad Jamal, said, the body should “shoulder its responsibility and adopt a resolution to end to the Turkish troops’ violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.”
Training to anti-ISIS fighters, a subject to agreement with the Iraqi government, has been provided by Turkish servicemen since 2014. But in December 2015, Turkish military presence in the country was beefed up, allegedly, to protect its military advisers. This fact caused anger of Iraq, and the country’s government called it a “blatant violation” of the sovereignty. Two weeks ago, the extension of the mission to a target, called “terrorist organizations,” was approved by the Turkish parliament.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi noted that this move is “unacceptable” and warned that Turkey’s action might slide into a full-fledged war.
“We have asked the Turkish side more than once not to intervene in Iraqi matters and I fear the Turkish adventure could turn into a regional war,” the Reuters news agency quoted his words.
However, Ankara said that its troops would stay in the country, “no matter what Baghdad says.”
Turkey has been repeatedly called a crucial partner by the US, as the country has been conducting airstrikes against terrorists in Syria since 2014. In July, US Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed this position.
“Turkey is a friend. Turkey is an ally. Turkey is an important coalition partner in the fight against ISIL,” Kerry said.
However, in August, relations between the two countries deteriorated after Ankara launched a ground operation in Syria near the town of Jarablus.