The Turkish Foreign Ministry said that it was “miscommunication”with Iraq that caused its recent troops deployment in the northern Nineveh province.
President Barack Obama urged Turkey’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan to pull troops out of Iraq Friday, while reiterating the need for Turkey to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.
Press TV reports: The announcement was made via a statement released on Saturday, which added that Ankara will continue to recall some of the troops from the Bashiqa military base.
Tensions have been running high between Baghdad and Ankara particularly since December 4, when Turkey deployed 150 heavily armed soldiers backed by 20 to 25 tanks to the base where it claims it is training Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters battling the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
On Friday, Baghdad called on United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution, urging Turkey to end its “illegal incursion” and immediately withdraw all of its troops from the Iraqi soil.
Over the past few days, thousands of Iraqi protesters have staged demonstrations across the country to denounce the Turkish deployment of military forces.
Turkey has already withdrawn some troops from the camp, reportedly by moving them to another base inside Iraq’s Kurdistan region.
Last week, US Vice President Joe Biden also called on Turkey to withdraw from Iraq any military personnel unauthorized by Baghdad.