Turkey will not pullout its troops from Iraq as they have been deployed in the country for training of Iraqi military and police rather than for combat, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Thursday.
“Our servicemen went to Iraq as instructors, their mission is limited to training,” Erdogan told a news conference in Ankara.
“It is out of the question, at present, that Turkey will pullout its military from Iraq,” the president stressed.
He added that Turkey, Northern Iraq Kurds and US officials are to hold talks on December 21.
On December 4, Turkey deployed about 150 troops and 25 tanks to a base in the Iraqi Nineveh province, without Baghdad’s approval.
According to Ankara, the aim of the deployment was to provide security to Turkish soldiers deployed earlier at the base to train Kurdish militia who are fighting Islamic State (ISIL), also known as Daesh in Arabic, a group outlawed in a number of countries worldwide, including Russia.