Russia says the deployment of Turkish forces in Iraq without Baghdad's approval is “unacceptable.”
In statement on December 8, the Foreign Ministry said the “illegal presence” of Turkish forces near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul is a "very serious factor of tensions."
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has said Turkish troops entered northern Iraq without permission and warned that Baghdad would seek United Nations Security Council action if those forces did not start to withdraw by the end of December 7.
In a phone call to Iraq’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara will not withdraw its ground troops for now.
Cavusoglu said Ankara sent military forces near Mosul on December 3 to protect and replace Turkish soldiers already deployed there.
Turkey says its soldiers are training Iraqi Kurdish forces and Sunni Arab tribal fighters around Mosul ahead of an expected offensive aimed at taking the city back from the Islamic State militants.
Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax