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Iraqi MP: Baghdad Requested Turkish Troops to Fight ISIS over a Year Ago - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Baghdad- Turkish forces entered Iraqi territories in line with an agreement between the ministers of defense of the two countries and the government of Kurdistan region, according to an informed parliamentary source.

Iraqi MP Ahmad al-Jabouri told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that information revealed that sacked Minister of Defense Khalid al-Obeidi had reached an agreement with Turkish Minister of Defense Islet Yilmaz on November 17, 2015 on the matter.

The MP confirmed that both the central government in Baghdad and the government of Kurdistan region were aware of the deal, which seems to have been confidential.

According to Jabouri, Turkey is planning on revealing this agreement to the United Nations Security Council.

Iraq has filed a complaint with the Security Council against Turkey, which Ankara rejected, and the Turkish parliament voted to extend the army’s military mandates in Bashiqa camp in Iraq.

The Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Turkey is training fighters who are from Mosul including Arabs, Kurds, Yazidis, and Turkmen.

He stressed Turkey is training local forces and providing them with equipment, saying Ankara is ready to support the Mosul operation.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildrim told reporters in Ankara that Baghdad’s accusations that Turkey supports ISIS are dangerous. He added that Turkish troops are useful for Iraq.

The senior adviser to former Turkish president, Arshad Harmozlo, said that Turkey have brothers in Iraq that should be allowed to help.

Concerning the leaked information, Harmozlo said that it was parliament’s duty to investigate the incident and reveal the whole truth to the Iraqi people.

During the past days, both Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and his Turkish counterpart Yildrim exchanged escalating accusations.

Abadi said that Iraq’s sovereignty is a red line stressing Baghdad doesn’t want to enter a war with Turkey but there is no reason for Turkish forces to be present in Iraq.

But Turkey’s PM said that Turkish troops will remain in Iraq no matter what. He commented that Abadi’s statements are dangerous.

Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the National Coalition and head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, said that “Iraqis cannot be patient about the escalation from the Turkish side and Turkish officials’ statements, and their patience is limited.”

“Those who think that Iraq is weak are wrong,” he said. “Iraq is strong with its components and men, and they defend its sovereignty and security.”

Al-Hakim rejected descriptions of Nineveh province as only a Sunni region, and said that Iraq alone will decide who will take part in the Mosul battle.

“Iraq alone will decide who is participating and who is not in the Mosul battle,” Hakim said.

MP of Badr Bloc Siham al-Musawi told Asharq al-Awsat that it is the duty of the parliament to investigate the incident for the truth to be revealed whether the Turkish troops’ presence in Iraqi territories was the result of an agreement or not.

Musawi said in case a deal was actually reached, then the people have been deceived.