Iraq’s government has been rather outspoken about Turkey’s infringement of its sovereign territory, even calling on the UN… but Turkey’s President Erdogan has returned fire.
He claims that Turkish troops had been stationed at a military base in Northern Iraq at the expressed request of the Iraqi PM.
Abadi “did not say a word until just now” because of the recent developments in the region- implying that the shoot-down of a Russian jet had caused this alleged change of heart.
“These trainers in Bashiqa camp were threatened by Daesh (Islamic State) because it is 15-20 km from Mosul and they have only light arms,” he told a group of foreign journalists in Istanbul.
“Turkish soldiers are in Bashiqa camp at the request of Haider al-Abadi in 2014. Now I am asking why he was silent since 2014,” he said in an interview with Al Jazeera.
“What will happen to Sunnis? There are Sunni Arabs, Sunni Turkmen and Sunni Kurds? What will happen to their security? They need sense of security,” Erdogan said, criticising the Shia-dominated Iraqi government.
“For a long time mainly due to the regional governance in northern Iraq, people lost their rights.
“They need their rights back. A lot of Arabs in the region have lost their rights. Unfortunately we cannot see fair governance in Iraq. That’s why people there are so worried,” he said.
In December 2014, Iraq had asked for greater military cooperation and training from Turkey.
It is unknown if the Iraqi PM had asked for direct intervention and occupation, albeit temporary, of its territory apparently to combat ISIS- there appears to be nothing written regarding the alleged request in 2014, though Iraq had asked for American intervention.
In October 2014 the Turkish government approved sending ground troops into Iraq and Syria in pursuit of the PKK and ISIS.