No Turkish troops will be deployed to Mosul until ‘sensitivities’ are addressed: PM
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu thanks lawmakers after his government received a vote of confidence at the parliament in Ankara, November 30, 2015. (AFP/Adem Altan)
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Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has written a letter to his Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi to inform him of the activities and the duties of Turkish troops deployed in Mosul.
According to Turkish Prime Ministry sources, Davutoglu told al-Abadi that Ankara would never take any step that would damage Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“There will be no deployment of forces to Bashika [Mosul town] until the sensitivities of Iraq are addressed," he was quoted by the sources as saying.
Davutoglu also said that Turkey will keep providing support to the Iraqi government in fight against Daesh, and that Ankara wants to enhance their cooperation with Baghdad in that regard.
The Turkish military recently released details of a training program for Kurdish Peshmerga fighters that it has been operating in Iraq.
The army statement came after Friday's deployment of around 150 Turkish troops to replace training forces already in Mosul. Along with the troops, 20 to 25 tanks were also dispatched to the area.
Turkish army sources said Saturday that they had been training fighters in four provinces of northern Iraq with the ultimate aim of fighting Daesh.
The defense ministers of Turkey and Iraq talked on the phone on Saturday.
In a statement, Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) spokesperson Sefin Dizayi confirmed that Turkish troop reinforcements had arrived in Mosul.
According to the KRG, the fresh deployments of Turkish military equipment and experts were meant to replace a unit already deployed in northern Iraq.
The new arrivals would be stationed at different military camps near Mosul and in the Soran and Kalacholan districts near the Iranian border.
According to the Turkish military, Peshmerga forces have received training in the use of heavy machine guns, mortars and artillery. They have also received first-aid training.
More than 2,500 Peshmerga fighters, including officers, have participated in the Turkish training program, the military added.