Some Turkish Troops Pull Out of Iraq Camp Near Mosul

Turkish military armored vehicles, which took part in an operation inside Syria, are pictured near the Mursitpinar border crossing in the southeastern town of Suruc, Sanliurfa province, February 23, 2015. A Turkish military operation to rescue 38 soldiers guarding a tomb in Syria surrounded by Islamic State militants was launched to counter a possible attack on them, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Monday. The action, which involved tanks, drones and reconnaissance planes as well as several hundred ground troops, was the first of its kind by Turkish troops into Syria since the start of the civil war there nearly four years ago. REUTERS/Stringer (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT MILITARY)Some of the several hundred Turkish troops who had been stationed in a camp outside the jihadist-controlled Iraqi city of Mosul have pulled out, state media said Monday, after the deployment infuriated Baghad.

“Some of the Turkish troops stationed in Bashiqa have transited to the north as part of a new arrangement” according to military sources.

It did not specify if they were moving deeper into northern Iraqi territory controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) which has strong relations with Ankara or heading back to Turkey.
The troops were carried in a convoy of 10-12 military vehicles but did not give further details on numbers.

Turkey earlier this month announced that hundreds of troops had been deployed at the camp to protect Turkish military trainers who were training local fighters seeking to recapture Mosul from Islamic State (IS) jihadists.

But the deployment outraged the central Iraqi government in Baghdad, which bitterly complained to Ankara and said it would take the issue to the UN Security Council.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu last week sent two of the most powerful men in Turkish foreign policy foreign ministry under-secretary Feridun Sinirlioglu and intelligence chief Hakan Fidan to Baghdad in a bid to settle the tensions.

Davutoglu said subsequently an agreement had been reached on a “reorganisation” of the Turkish troops. But it was never made clear what form this would take.