Tensions between Iraq and Turkey continue to rise after last Friday’s Turkish military deployment into Iraq’s Nineveh Province, which the Iraqi central government insisted came without any approval and amounted to a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, however, ruled out removing the troops from Iraqi soil, saying they are there on a training mission for the Iraqi Kurds and a withdrawal would be “out of the question.”
Erdogan suggested that the matter would be discussed more thoroughly on December 21 at a trilateral meeting between Turkey, the Iraqi Kurds, and the United States. The Iraqi government, interestingly, does not appear to be invited.
Iraq previously gave Turkey until Tuesday to withdraw, and has since sought help from NATO and the UN Security Council in convicning them to do so. Iraqi Shi’ite militias have threatened to attack the Turkish forces over the incursion.