Iran sides with Iraq in dispute with Turkey

AP , Monday 24 Oct 2016

Iran says Turkey should get permission from Iraq's government to participate in the operation to take back Mosul from the Islamic State group — a statement with which Tehran waded into a dispute over the presence of Turkish troops in northern Iraq.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said on Monday that "it is not acceptable at all if a country, under the pretext of combating terrorism or any other crimes, tries to violate the sovereignty" of another country.

Some 500 Turkish troops stationed at a base near Mosul are training Iraqi Sunni and Kurdish forces that are taking part in the offensive, which began a week ago.

The Shia-led government in Baghdad says the Turks are there without permission and has ordered them out. Turkey has refused, insisting it play a role in the offensive to retake Mosul, a Sunni-majority city. Shia-majority Iran is a close ally of the Baghdad government.

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