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Iraq turns to UN Security Council over Turkish troops

AFP , Saturday 12 Dec 2015
UNSC
File photo: The United Nations Security Council (Photo: AP)
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Iraq has turned to the United Nations Security Council to complain about the deployment of Turkish troops to the country's north, the US envoy said Friday.

Iraq's UN ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim delivered a letter to his US counterpart Samantha Power in her capacity as December president of panel and asked her to circulate it among the 14 other member countries.

The Iraqi ambassador expressed "his government's growing alarm" at the situation that "has not been resolved," Power told reporters.

The deployment of several hundred troops by Turkey in Bashiqa, close to an area held by Islamic State extremists in northern Iraq, has enraged Baghdad, which has asked Ankara to withdraw all its forces, saying they entered the country illegally without its consent.

Turkey has a long-running training program at a base near the city of Mosul, IS's main hub in Iraq, but the deployment last week expanded Ankara's presence there.

Power said she reiterated the US position "that any troops deployments in Iraq need to be with the consent of the sovereign Iraqi government."

"And I reassured him that that was America's very strong position and urged that the dialogue continue between the Iraqi and Turkish governments to find an amicable way out of this difficult situation," she said.

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