Baghdad – Iraqi parliament unanimously refused the Turkish parliament decision to extend the mandate of Turkish troops in Iraq and called for a review of relations with Turkey.
The parliament also rejected recent statement of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over Ankara’s willingness to join the liberation battle of Mosul, ISIS’ last major stronghold. The lawmakers also asked the government of Iraq to file a complaint with the U.N. Security Council against Turkey. They want the government to formally describe Turkish troops as an “occupying” force. In addition, the parliament demanded the Turkish ambassador be summoned to receive a letter critical of Turkey’s presence in Iraq.
Earlier, Erdogan announced that Mosul liberation will start on October 19 and warned that Ankara must be involved in any operation and included in the decision-making process.
“Turkey cannot be left off the table. The others don’t have such a border,” Erdogan said. “They may want us to stay as spectators but that decision is also going to be made here.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi strongly refused Turkey’s decisions and said that Turkey must not interfere in Iraqi matters.
“The Turkish leadership’s behavior is not acceptable and we don’t want to get into a military confrontation with Turkey,” Abadi warned.
Turkey’s decision prompted a series of responses from several Iraqi factions and parties which varied in its intensity.
Shi’ite National Coalition expressed its fears of Erdogan’s statement regarding Mosul and the decision of the parliament.
Leader of National Alliance Ammar al-Hakim issued a statement demanding the Turkish government immediate withdraw of forces from Iraq to maintain good neighboring relations and respect Iraq’s sovereignty.
MP of Badr Bloc Siham al-Musawi told Asharq Al-Awsat that Erdogan’s statements are rejected as well as the decision of the Turkish parliament.
The MP said that whether it was done via the parliamentary vote or said through the political parties and blocs, Turkish intervention in Iraqi affairs is refused and the troops will be considered an “occupying force”.
She added that the statement is an attempt to instigate hatred among Iraqi sects and a blatant agitation for Iraqis who are united to liberate Mosul from ISIS.
The MP pointed out that Iraq has a security agreement with the U.S., yet Washington is silent regarding the Turkish intervention, which could complicate the liberation operations.
According to Musawi, certain Iraqi parties helped Turkey to enter the Iraqi territory.
Meanwhile, Sunni National Concord Front warned of a possible genocide in Tal Afar. MP Izz al-Din al-Dawla said that he obtained information stating that the government supported Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). He hoped this is false.
During his press conference at the Iraqi parliament, Dawla warned of a genocide done by the PKK in revenge of the Turkmen of Tal Afar.
The MP called upon the government to expel the PKK considering that it is a terrorist organization.
In addition, fears of a demographic change in the area have risen with the expected migration wave from Mosul as the liberation begins.
Judge Asghar al-Musawi, one of al-Shabak leaders, told Asharq al-Awsat that it seems that the displaced citizens of Mosul will be set in Nineveh valley since it is not highly populated and is close to Kurdistan Region.