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Iraqi Volunteer Forces Vow to Fight Turkish Military Presence in Iraq, Suspicious of Rise in Number of US Advisors

(FNA) ~ Iraqi volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) vowed to confront the presence of the Turkish army troops in Iraq, and said that the increasing number of the US advisors in their country is also suspicious.

“The presence of the Turkish forces in Iraq is deemed as illegal and Hashd al-Shaabi has the power to confront the Turkish occupying forces,” Iraqi Hashd al-Shaabi commander Javad al-Talibavi told FNA on Tuesday.

He reiterated that the Iraqi volunteer forces will not tolerate the presence of the Turkish troops in Iraq.

Meantime, media spokesman of Iraq’s Jihad Battalions told FNA that the increasing the number of the US military advisors in his country is very suspicious.

“The U.S. was indifferent when the ISIL had major parts of Iraq under its control and now that the ISIL is nearly finished the U.S. is looking for increasing the number of its troops in Iraq,” he added.

Ankara, in December 2015, first deployed about 150 soldiers equipped with heavy weapons and backed by two dozen tanks to Bashiqa, located on the outskirts of Mosul. It claimed the deployment was part of a mission to train and equip Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the fight against ISIL. Baghdad rejected the claim, saying it did not need the Turkish military assistance in the fight.

On Saturday, Turkish lawmakers almost overwhelmingly approved the extension by another year of Ankara’s cross-border military incursions into Syria and Iraq. During the parliamentary session, Erdogan urged allowing his country’s troops to participate in the upcoming battle for Mosul, warning Baghdad and Turkey’s Western allies that Turkey must be involved in any operation and included in the decision-making process.

“Turkey cannot be left off the table. The others don’t have such a border with Iraq. They may want us to stay as spectators but that decision is also going to be made here,” the Turkish president said.

On Sunday, the Iraqi volunteer forces warned against the US plan to increase the number of its troops in Iraq, and vowed harsh reaction to any such troops deployment.

“Increasing the number of US military men is a source of concern and the Hashd al-Shaabi will not tolerate the US redeployment,” Sayyed al-Shohada Battalions affiliated to Hashd al-Shaabi said.

On July 11, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced that Washington would send 560 troops to Iraq to back up Mosul liberation operations.

On August 6, the US media reported that Washington will send another 400 soldiers to Iraq.

The US Department of Defense claims that there are less than 4,000 US troops in Iraq while a research by Washington Post newspaper shows that the number of US soldiers in Iraq exceeds 5,000.

On September 28, the US defense officials announced that Pentagon will dispatch another 600 ground troops to Iraq to help the country with Mosul liberation operation.

The US troops are now stationed in al-Qayyara military base located 65 kilometers to the South of Mosul.

The Iraqi volunteer forces are against the US deployment in Iraq.



Iraq says Turkish forces will not be allowed to participate in military operations aimed at liberating Mosul, an Iraqi city that Daesh has declared as its so-called headquarters…[…]…

Le cheikh Qassem al-Ta’i, un grand dignitaire chiite irakien, a déclaré que le combat contre les forces militaires turques dans le nord de l’Irak est une “obligation religieuse”…[…]…

Fars News Agency, 4/10/2016
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