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Maliki slams Turkey troop authorisation as Islamic State rolledback in Iraq

Iraqi forces are at last having some small success against Islamic State
Kurdish Peshmerga forces have had some success against IS in recent days (AFP)

Former Iraqi Prime Minister and current Vice President Nuri al-Maliki has slammed Turkey’s authorisation of ground troops in Syria and Iraq,

Maliki, who stepped aside as PM in August following mounting US pressure, issued a statement on Friday dubbing Turkey’s decision “unjustified” and calling on the Iraqi parliament to reject the notion of having foreign troops on Iraqi soil.

“I want to remind Turkey of the need to maintain the relations of mutual respect and national sovereignty,” Maliki said in a statement seen by

The Turkish Parliament must “undo the decision of sending ground troops to Iraq because it is unjustified overtake on the sanctity and sovereignty of Iraqi territory,” Maliki added.

Turkey’s parliament yesterday voted to authorise troop deployment into Iraq and Syria, and also authorised various other measures such as use of its airbases to target IS positions.

However, despite rumours in local media that Turkey might be gearing up to launch an offensive in northern Syria, where the Kurdish town of Kobane is reportedly on the verge of falling to Islamic State, no military action has as yet been carried out by Turkish forces and it remains unclear how and if they will act.

Maliki’s comments come as US envoy, General John Allen kicked off a visit to Iraq, during which he met with local leaders, including religious figures.

During his meetings, Allen is believed to have stressed that the US would not be sending in combat troops and would only continue to provide logistical and aerial support to Iraqi forces battling Islamic State.

This is highly controversial as some in Iraq fear that the US could be considering redeploying in the country, after finally exiting in 2011 following a bloody eight-year occupation. 

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