US Vice President Biden Calls On Turkey To Withdraw Troops From Iraq

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US Vice President Joe Biden has called on Turkey to withdraw from Iraq any military personnel unauthorized by Baghdad.

Baghdad has said that the entry of a battalion of Turkish troops was an incursion and a serious violation of its sovereignty.

The White House made their announcement in a statement on Wednesday after a phone conversation between Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi.

The White House statement said that Turkey should be as committed to respecting Iraq’s sovereignty, just as Washington is.

The office of the Vice President released a readout of the phone call  Biden had with Al-Abadi:


The Vice President spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi yesterday following his December 14 call with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. The Vice President noted the recent deployment of Turkish forces into northern Iraq had occurred without the prior consent of the Iraqi government. Both leaders welcomed initial indications of the withdrawal of some Turkish forces and agreed this should continue, reiterating that any foreign forces can only be present in Iraq with the coordination and permission of the Iraqi government. The Vice President reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to Iraqi sovereignty and territorial integrity and called on Turkey to do the same by withdrawing any military forces from Iraqi territory that have not been authorized by the Iraqi government. The Vice President encouraged continued dialogue between Iraq and Turkey to address any outstanding grievances in the spirit of mutual cooperation. Both leaders reaffirmed their continued commitment to the fight against ISIL in Iraq.

Turkey has not yet acted on the US calls for withdrawal.

In another move, the US military announced on Wednesday that it was withdrawing 12 F-15 aircraft from Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base.

Niamh Harris
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