Turkey to withdraw troops from northern Iraq
Iraqis hold crossed-out portraits of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a demonstration in Baghdad's Tahrir Square on December 12, 2015, to demand the withdrawal of Turkish forces from Iraq. (AFP/Ahmad Al-Rubaye)
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Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced Saturday that Turkey will withdraw more troops from northern Iraq, following a misunderstanding with the Iraqi government, the Associated Press reported.
"In recognition of the Iraqi concerns and in accordance with the requirements of the fight against ISIS [Daesh], is continuing to move military forces from Nineveh province," the Turkish Foreign Ministry stated.
This decision comes after an appeal from US President Barack Obama, who urged Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to de-escalate tensions with neighboring Iraq.
The dispute over Turkey's military presence in Iraq has complicated US efforts in fighting Daesh militants. Baghdad views the troops' presence as an incursion on Iraqi sovereignty, and demanded their immediate withdrawal at a recent UN Security Council meeting.