… from Press TV, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: Turkey keeps pushing its “unsaid hand” that it has permission to be in Kurdistan to train their troops with Kurdish permission, and hence it is none of Baghdad’s business.
The Iraqi government has handled the issue with kid gloves so far, but this is the first time it has mentioned the military option if Turkey continues to stiff arm the Iraqis, who are on 100% solid legal ground.
The Kurdish region is not a separate country, but a region of Iraq, which does not entail running its own separate foreign policy. And while Kurdish oil smuggling has always gone on through Turkey, having Turkish troops coming and going at their own pleasure is not going to go down well in Baghdad or the UN.
Obama has already been on the phone to Erdogan strongly suggesting a troop pull out. But we see Turkey countering that Obama pressure with the highly-publicized new relationship (war council) between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, both Sunni Muslims along with the Kurds, a united front against the Shia Muslims in Iraq and yes, in Iran, also.
It seems that the new council is taking the position that if Turkey can use the ruse of sending troops into Iraq for “anti-terrorism” operations — when we all know it has been supporting ISIL– then the the Saudis may do so from the south if they choose, giving Baghdad two fronts to consider, and their success against ISIL being replace with both Turkish and Saudi “anti-terrorism” forces in western Irag to keep that Syrian border under their physical control during the political negotiations.
The Saudis have lost their mind with this strategy of following Turkey into any conflict, because they have admitted to having a $5 billion expenditure in the Yemen war, and having to switch over to mercenaries to fight, due to their own troop losses. They are dangerous people, clearly out of the realm of their own competency. They could end up destabilizing themselves, and paying for it… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … December 30, 2015 –
The Iraqi foreign minister has once again called on Turkey to withdraw its troops from northern Iraq, warning that Baghdad may otherwise take military action against Ankara.
Iraq seeks a peaceful resolution of the issue, but if there is no other solution and if “fighting is imposed on us, we will consider it to protect our sovereignty,” Ibrahim al-Jaafari told a press conference in Baghdad on Wednesday.
The remarks came more than three weeks after Turkey deployed some 150 soldiers, equipped with heavy weapons and backed by 20 to 25 tanks, to the outskirts of the city of Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh.
Ankara claimed the deployment was part of a mission to train and equip Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the fight against Takfiri Daesh terrorists, but Baghdad denounced the uncoordinated act as a violation of Iraq’s national sovereignty.
Later, Turkey announced that it had begun withdrawing troops following an appeal by US President Barack Obama. At that time, however, al-Jaafari cast doubt on Ankara’s claims, saying the Turkish forces would be relocated from one area to another on the Iraqi soil.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh mounted an offensive in the country in June 2014.
The Iraqi army together with volunteer fighters has been engaged in operations to liberate militant-controlled regions. Over the past few days, the Iraqi army advances against terrorists have gained momentum.
On December 28, Iraqi forces fully liberated the city of Ramadi, the capital of the western province of Anbar, from the grips of Daesh elements. They are also planning to recapture Mosul, which fell into the hands of Daesh terrorists in June last year in the first stage of terrorists’ advance through Iraq.