IRAQ, TURKEY REMAIN AT LOGGERHEADS OVER MOSUL, TROOPS

BAGHDAD, -- Iraq re-affirmed Tuesday that only Iraqi forces would be engaged in the fight to retake the northern city of Mosul from Daesh and reiterated firm opposition to Turkish involvement in the battle.

A Turkish delegation that visited Iraq, on Monday, "did not propose ideas convenient for the Iraqi side," said the Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmad Jamal in a statement, indicating that the Turkish envoys came to try persuade the Iraqi leadership allow participation of Turkish forces in the fighting over Mosul.

The official spokesman also hinted that the Turks, during the talks with their Iraqi counterparts, renewed opposition to Baghdad's demand that Turkey withdraw its forces from the camp in Bashiqa "and respect Iraq's sovereignty."

According to Iraqi officials, the delegation, headed by a deputy foreign minister, came to Baghdad to discuss the Turkish troops' presence in Bashiqa.

On Dec 4, Ankara deployed about 150 troops and 25 tanks at a base in Bashiqa, Nineveh province, without Baghdad's approval.

Ankara said that it had dispatched the troops to Bashiqa to train local forces for fighting the Daesh, but Baghdad rejected the argument and repeatedly insisted that the Turkish forces must pull out of the Iraqi terriories.

Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines has canceled its flights to Iraq's Irbil and Baghdad due to the military operation to retake Mosul from Daesh, according to local reports.

The Turkish carrier's scheduled flights from Istanbul's Ataturk Airport to Irbil and Baghdad were canceled owing to the Mosul operation, which was launched early on Oct 17, Dogan News Agency reported.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi announced the launching of the military operation to retake Mosul in the early hours of Monday morning, local time.

Source: Nam News Network