Iraq asks UNSC to discuss Turkish presence in N. Iraq

– Move comes days after Iraqi parliament describes Turkish troops deployed in northern Iraq as ‘occupiers’
– Iraq has formally called on the UN to convene an urgent meeting of the Security Council to discuss the Turkish military presence in Camp Bashiqa in Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, according to a Foreign Ministry statement issued Thursday, reported Anadolu Agency.Ministry spokesman Ahmed Jamal said Baghdad had called on the UN Security Council to “shoulder its responsibilities vis-à-vis Iraq and issue a resolution that would halt violations of Iraq’s sovereignty by Turkish forces”.

On Wednesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Iraq’s ambassador in Ankara after Iraqi parliamentarians characterized Turkish troops in Bashiqa as “occupiers”.

In response, Iraq’s Foreign Ministry summoned Turkey’s ambassador to Baghdad.

On Tuesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry slammed what it described as the Iraqi parliament’s “mischaracterization” of the Turkish military presence in Bashiqa.

“We strongly condemn the Iraqi parliament’s unacceptable assertions, including base accusations leveled against the Turkish president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan],” the ministry declared in a statement.

In 2007, Turkey’s parliament gave a mandate to the country’s armed forces to take military action against terrorist groups in Iraq. In 2014, with the emergence of the Daesh terrorist group, that mandate was expanded to include Syria.

Last week, the Turkish parliament renewed the mandate in a move that has drawn criticism from certain Iraqi political circles.

In December of last year, Turkey sent some 150 troops and about two dozen combat tanks to Camp Bashiqa, located roughly 12 kilometers northeast of the Daesh-held city of Mosul.

The deployment — which was criticized at the time by Baghdad — was aimed at providing protection to Turkish military personnel who had been tasked with training Iraqi volunteers to fight Daesh.