TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iraqi protesters held a demonstration in front of Turkey’s embassy in Baghdad, demanding the withdrawal of Turkish military forces from the region of Bashiqa, northeast of Mosul.
Furious at the presence of Turkish troops in northern Iraqi territories, protesters called on the Ankara government to end violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.
Demonstrators also shouted “Turkey Go Out” slogans in the rally, al-Sumaria TV reported.
On October 6, Iraq’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said Baghdad has requested an emergency UN Security Council session over the presence of Turkish troops in northern Iraq.
Turkey, however, has remained defiant, with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim vowing on Thursday to maintain Turkish troop presence "no matter what Baghdad says."
Turkey-Iraq relations became strained after Ankara sent troops late last year to Bashiqa to allegedly train anti-Daesh fighters there, a move Baghdad labeled a "blatant violation" of its sovereignty.
Iraq has demanded a Turkish withdrawal but Ankara has ignored the call.
Meanwhile, Ammar al-Hakim, the newly elected leader of the National Alliance, the largest political bloc in Iraq, has warned Turkey that “Iraqis’ patience has limits.”
Whoever thinks that Iraq is weak or unable to defend itself is mistaken, Hakim underlined, urging Ankara to pull out its forces immediately.
Iraq has been engaged in the fight against the Daesh Takfiri terrorists since the summer of 2014, when the militants took control of Mosul and some other areas in the country.
However, a combination of concentrated attacks by the Iraqi military and the Hashid al-Shaabi (the voluntary forces, also known as the Popular Mobilization Units), has flushed terrorists out of many areas.
Iraq is geared up to launch a large-scale offensive to liberate Mosul.