“Turkish military forces deployed in Northern Iraq for a year are likely to come under attack by the Hashd al-Shaabi if they do not return home and intervene in Mosul liberation operation,” the Middle East Eye quoted an Iraqi volunteer forces commander as saying on Saturday.
Turkey has deployed hundreds of troops armed with heavy weaponry to the Iraqi town of Bashiqa, 12 kilometers Northeast of Mosul.
“The Central Iraqi government and the volunteer forces believe that Turkey has deployed its troops outside Mosul to provide the required facilities for ISIL fighters and get a foothold inside Mosul, under the pretext of protecting the Sunnis,” a senior Iraqi volunteer forces commander said.
Baghdad has protested several times against the troops deployment and has demanded their immediate withdrawal from Iraqi territory, a request that has fallen on deaf ears.
On Thursday, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus claimed that no one has the right to object to the Turkish military presence in Iraq.
“It is obvious that the regional administration in Northern Iraq and the Barzani administration had asked for (Turkey’s) support and sought help from Turkish troops, specially for training their local forces to rescue Mosul,” he said, referring to the Kurdish Regional Government.
Last week, the Turkish parliament approved a proposal to extend the presence of Turkish forces in Iraq for another year. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi responded by warning of a “regional war” if Turkish forces were to militarily intervene in Mosul.
On Thursday, Iraq requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council “to discuss the Turkish takeover of Iraqi territory and interfering in its internal affairs,” a statement issued by the Iraqi foreign ministry read