October 7, 2016
Turkey’s prime minister has insisted that his government will keep troops in Iraq. Binali Yildirim linked the presence of Turkish soldiers in Iraq to the elimination of Daesh and the prevention of any demographic shift in the country that is imposed by force. He made his comments following the rejection of the Turkish presence near Mosul by his Iraqi counterpart, Haider Al-Abadi.
“Whatever the Iraqi government in Baghdad says, the Turkish presence there will remain for the fight against Daesh and to make sure that the demographic structure of the region is not being changed by force,” said Yildirim in Ankara. Iraq’s second city [Mosul], he pointed out, had a population of two million before being taken by Daesh, in one day, on 10 June 2014. “Our goal is to avoid a repeat of another humanitarian crisis and to stop more blood from being shed,” the Turkish prime minister explained.
At a time when there are troops from 63 countries in Iraq to fight against terror, he suggested that concern about the Turkish presence in the country is “absurd” and has “nothing to do with good intentions.”
Source: Middle East Monitor.