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Some Turkish troops pull out from flashpoint Iraqi camp: State media

Unclear as yet whether troops are moving away from flashpoint Iraqi camp or heading back to Turkey
Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters take position as they monitor the area from their front line position in Bashiqa, a town 13 kilometres north-east of Mosul (AFP)

Some of the several hundred Turkish troops who had been stationed in a camp outside the militant-controlled Iraqi city of Mosul have pulled out, state media said on Monday, after the deployment infuriated Baghdad.

"Some of the Turkish troops stationed in Bashiqa have transited to the north as part of a new arrangement," Turkey's state-run Anatolia news agency said

They reported that a 10 or 12-vehicle convoy, including tanks, had left the Bashiqa camp and was heading toward northern Iraq.

The deployment of Turkish troops had been a point of contention for the government of Haider al-Abadi in Iraq.

On Friday Abadi said he had asked his foreign ministry to lodge a complaint to the UN about the presence of Turkish troops near Mosul saying the security council should "shoulder its responsibilities" and order the withdrawal of the Turkish troops.

“The sending of Turkish armoured forces without Iraqi government approval is not a help against terrorism, it is a flagrant violation of Iraqi sovereignty, and today there are no armed military forces of any state on Iraqi territory except Turkey, and without our consent or knowledge, and all that is said otherwise is pure fabrication,” said his office in a statement.

“While we have expressed our desire to cooperate against terrorism and welcomed the support of friends in the areas of armament, training, advice and intelligence, we do not accept the violation of our national sovereignty and our sacred land, nor is it in anyway acceptable to confuse the desire for cooperation and the entry of a Turkish armoured force into our land by force and without our consent.”

However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that Turkish troops had been stationed at Bashiqa camp since 2014, at Abadi's request

“Now I am asking why he was silent since 2014," said Erdogan, speaking to Al Jazeera.

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