Turkey Rejects Demand to Withdraw Troops as Iraq Warns of Regional War

Turkey PM: Unfair to Criticize Turkey When So Many Countries Are in Iraq

With Iraqi officials warning that the unwelcome presence of Turkish ground troops in their territory threatens to spark a “regional war,” and requesting an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council over the deployment, Turkish officials are continuing to resist the calls to leave.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim insisted that Iraq’s objection would have no impact on Turkey’s deployment of troops into Iraqi territory, saying Turkey is being unfairly criticized and that Iraq has no right to speak to Turkey like it has been.

Yildirim noted that there are 63 countries with existing military presences in Iraq, saying he thought it was “unreasonable” to single out just Turkey and demand that they leave. Turkey is estimated to have around 2,000 troops in Iraq, many of them training the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga.

Turkey first deployed troops into Iraq back in December, saying they were there as trainers, and claiming Iraqi officials approved of the move. Iraqi officials, however, denied approving it, and have condemned the ever-growing presence as a threat to Iraqi sovereignty.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • john

    Fantastic, now two of our “allies” are going at it. What to do? How about help the Turks with the Marines and the Iraqis with the Army. That way we could reassure both allies and figure out once and for all who is tougher

    • DUKE 2016

      how about you all just leave Iraq

    • O rly

      you forgot the cia and their allies

  • jmac5

    I am confused by this article. Why is Turkey training the Kurds? That makes no sense when Turkey insists that they are terrorists and that Turkey has been fighting against the Kurds since at least the Iraq war (from my memory).

    • Mark Thomason

      This highlights that there is no one “Kurds.” They are divided against themselves, and all over the place on policy. Some are friendly with Turkey, some are deadliest enemy, and many gradations between.

      The US hawks who want to arm and use “the Kurds” for US purposes simply ignore the complexities. That is one of many reasons that hawkish fantasy of Kurds as magical solution of our Mid-East problems is complete nonsense.

      Other reason are that the various Kurds all have just defensive militia that can’t do what we want done as an offensive force into Arab lands and don’t want to anyway, and that if the US Army and Marines could not do the job then the relatively tiny and poorly equipped Kurdish groups cannot do it for us.

      • ecotrails

        They are only poorly equiped because nno one equips them – yes?

    • ecotrails

      I can understand your confusion.
      Basically the kurds numbering 35+ million do not all fall under the same ideology leadership.the iraqi kurds mentioned as being trained by islamist turkey are led by the barzani clan – tribal nationalists doing business with erdogan indeed selling isis and barzanistolen oil. Other kurds in the region who have clout are supporters of the pkk, secular, leftist, anarchist if you like and those are who erdogan hates because they want notjing to do with islamists.
      Could clarify much better but me mobiles playing up. Hope that helps a little.

  • dieter heymann

    There now resides another Sultan in Ankara. Sometimes in Istanbul.
    He is busy founding the Erdogman Empire. With help from Russia and US.