Turkish FM Says Troops Invited in Iraq by State’s Defense Ministry

20:00 06.12.2015

Turkish troops are deployed in Iraq on the country’s Defense Ministry invitation, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Sunday.

ANKARA (Sputnik) – On Friday, media reports said that about 130-150 Turkish military personnel had been deployed in the northern Iraq's Nineveh province allegedly to provide training to Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

"Iraqi Defense Ministry has made a request to train the Iraqi military. The same invitation was extended to us from the governor of Nineveh province as well. Our military train in that region both Iraq's National Guard and Peshmerga forces, who will lead the fight against the Islamic State (IS or Daesh in Arabic) terrorist organization. It is made not only by Turkey, but also by the United States, Germany and France. The Turkish servicemen have been there from the very beginning on the invitation of the Iraqi authorities," Cavusoglu told reporters.

Following the move, Iraqi President Fuad Masum called on the Turkish authorities to withdraw troops from his country in order to avoid the deterioration of bilateral relations.