Iraq's foreign minister warns Turkey anew
Monday 07 December, 2015 12:00:00 am
Beirut , Dec 07 (AP/UNB) —Iraq's Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has warned Turkey that the deadline for the withdrawal of additional Turkish forces from Iraq's north expires on Tuesday.
He said on Monday that unless Turkish troops pullout, Iraq intends to raise the matter before the United National Security Council.
Turkey says its troops have been stationed at a small base outside of the Iraqi city of Mosul since last year as part of a training mission coordinated with the Iraqi government in Baghdad.
However, the arrival of additional Turkish forces on Friday sparked uproar in the Iraqi capital amid exaggerated media reports.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has repeatedly called for the forces to be withdrawn. A number of other senior Iraqi politicians have called the move a violation of Iraq's sovereignty.
Turkey announced Sunday additional deployments to Iraq would be halted until the Iraqi government's "sensitivities are overcome."
The U.S.-led Combined Joint Task Force coordinating coalition activities against the Islamic State group says the alliance carried out airstrikes in the province where Syria accuses it of hitting government troops, but it says there is no indication it hit any Syrian soldiers.
The task force said in a statement Monday it carried out four airstrikes solely against oil well heads in Deir el-Zour province on Sunday, all of them some 55 kilometers (34 miles) southeast of Ayyash.
The Syrian government says nine missiles fired by coalition aircraft on a Syrian army camp in the eastern city of Deir el-Zour killed three soldiers and wounded 13.
The coalition however says it "did not strike any vehicles or personnel targets in this area. We have no indication any Syrian soldiers were even near our strikes."