Middle East

Turkey halts troop deployment to Iraq but will not withdraw: foreign ministry

Turkey has halted the deployment of troops to northern Iraq for now but will not withdraw those already there, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told his Iraqi counterpart in a phone conversation, Turkey's foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
Cavusoglu reiterated Ankara's respect for Iraq's territorial integrity in the call late on Monday, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic told reporters, after Baghdad demanded the withdrawal of Turkish troops deployed to a base near the northern Islamic State-held city of Mosul.
Cavusoglu also told Ibrahim al-Jaafari that Turkey's presence in Mosul aimed to contribute to Iraq's fight against Islamic State. Bilgic said such training would continue in coordination with Iraq.

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