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Iraq Seeks UN Security Council Meeting Over Dispute With Turkey


Smoke rises from clashes with Islamic State militants southeast of Mosul in August.

Smoke rises from clashes with Islamic State militants southeast of Mosul in August.

Baghdad has requested an emergency session of the UN Security Council over the presence of Turkish troops in northern Iraq.

Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Jamal said on October 6 that the request was made by Iraq's ambassador to the UN to talk about "the Turkish side's transgressions and interferences."

The request includes a demand to the Security Council to take a resolution that would "end the Turkish troops' breach of the Iraqi sovereignty and the Turkish side's nonrespect for principles of good neighborliness," Jamal said.

Relations between the two neighbors have become strained since late last year when Turkey deployed troops near the Iraqi city of Mosul to train fighters to take on Islamic State (IS) militants there.

Baghdad's Shi’ite-dominated government wants Turkey to withdraw its troops, saying they had been sent to Iraq without its permission, but Ankara has ignored the call.

Iraqi lawmakers adopted a resolution on October 6, asking the government to consider the Turkish soldiers in Iraq as "occupation forces," while Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said Ankara's insistence on maintaining the troops could lead to "regional warfare."

In Ankara, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkish troops would stay in northern Iraq to prevent "efforts to forcibly change the demographic structure in the region."

Turkey is worried that once Mosul is liberated from IS militants, Baghdad's Shi’ite-led forces will destabilize the city's largely Sunni population and worsen ethnic strife across the region -- where there are also populations of Kurds, ethnic Turkic Turkomans, Assyrians, and other minority ethnic and religious groups.

Based on reporting by AP, dpa, and Reuters
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