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Baghdad Moves Forward with Diplomacy on Turkey Deployment of Troops - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Baghdad- Iraq’s political efforts continue to fluctuate between using diplomacy to influence Turkey to withdraw troops on Iraqi grounds, while insisting that the country is in need of military support in its fight against ISIS.

Iraqi President Fuad Masum says that the trust of Iraqis in national forces is just recovering.

Masum hinted that political efforts moving towards rebooting military mandatory serving is proof to the people’s growing trust.

Iraqi forces continue to advance towards Mosul aiming to dislodge ISIS fighters from one of the terror group’s strongholds in the country. The long anticipated offensive is adding to the influx of people displaced by the fighting, with reports showing at least 1940 Iraqis fleeing their homes and villages.

On the hand, monitoring organizations say that over 11735 displaced persons have left Nineveh villages that are being cleansed from ISIS fighters— displaced Iraqis outnumber those returning to liberated areas registering as low as 978 refugees returning to freed areas.

More so, Washington has again found itself in the middle of a fast-escalating conflict between two of its most important partners in the fight against ISIS.

Amid fears of a looming invasion and infuriating Iraqis, Turkey deployed 500 troops to a military base near Bashiqa, Iraq, last December. Nevertheless, the sending of troops came only after a deep need for training and advisory for local forces in preparation for the Mosul offensive was made clear.

Iraq denounced the move as a violation of its sovereignty, and it has insisted that the Turkish troops will not play any role in Mosul’s liberation.

As tensions rise between Turkey and Iraq, senior political analyst Dr.Nadim al Jabri says that it remains difficult for Turkey, despite the fiery verbal exchange with Iraq, to attempt invading Mosul as Iraq fears claim.

He added that Turkey deployed forces to Iraqi Kurdistan based on nationalist and security reasons, and hence should be dealt with in diplomatic terms.

At a press briefing in Baghdad, the U.S. special envoy for the anti-ISIS coalition, Brett McGurk, also addressed the issue.

“There are a lot of interests here that are mutual and overlapping,” McGurk said.

“But anything that happens here in Iraq requires the consent and approval of the Iraqi government, and that’s why we, as the United States, are working to try to find a diplomatic way forward on that issue.”