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Iraq Warns Of “Regional War” If Turkey Does Not Withdraw Troops / by Tyler Durden / Oct 5, 2016 12:13 PM

With much of the public’s attention in recent weeks focused on the escalation between the US and Russia over the nearly 6-year-old proxy war in Syria, a reminder that middle-east tensions include virtually all other neighboring countries, came from Iraq’s prime minister who on Wednesday warned Turkey that it risked triggering a regional war by keeping troops in his territory, as the neighboring states summoned each other’s ambassadors in a mounting diplomatic stand-off.

Turkey’s parliament voted last week to extend its military operation in Iraq and take on “terrorist organizations”, a reference to Kurdish militants and Islamic State. Responding to the Turkish decision, Iraq’s parliament condemned the Turkish vote and called for Turkey’s 2,000 troops to leave, Reuters reported.

An adamant Turkey has refused to comply and insists that its military is in Iraq at the invitation of Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdish regional government, with which Ankara maintains solid ties. Most of the troops are at a base in Bashiqa, north of Mosul, where they are helping to train Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga and Sunni fighters.


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