Turkey To Withdraw Troops In Iraq When PKK Pulls Out From Sinjar, MP Says

Turkey To Withdraw Troops In Iraq When PKK Pulls Out From Sinjar, MP Says

 Turkish troops deployed in northern Iraq will remain in the country as long as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) remain in Sinjar as a “threat” to Ankara, a Kurdish member of the Iraqi Parliament, Shakhawan Abdullah, said.

Abdullah who is also a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), told his party’s official media that according to an understanding between Ankara and Baghdad the responsibility to pull the PKK from Sinjar is Iraq’s.

“In the understanding with Turkey, Iraq needs to make sure that Turkey’s enemies are not mounting attacks on Turkey from Iraqi soil. By not doing this, Turkey won’t withdraw its troops in Bashiqa [in northern Iraq],” the Iraqi MP said.

He also warned that a failure by Baghdad and the PKK to meet Turkish demands would result in potentially adverse effects on the relations between the two countries.

Abdullah said “Baghdad must stop arming the PKK to prevent the group’s expansion on Iraqi territory.”

Speaking on Wednesday (January 11) in Kirikkale, a city east of the capital Ankara, Turkey’s Defense Minister, Fikri Isik, echoed similar sentiments regarding Turkey’s security concerns and the presence of Turkish troops in the country.

“The main aim of the Bashiqa camp was to remove Daesh from the region. Then the camp will work to develop all necessary measures to prevent terror groups, including the PYD/PKK, from being stationed in the area. Following the full removal of terror groups, Ankara and Baghdad will discuss the future of the Bashiqa camp…The matter will be resolved in a friendly manner,” Isik said.

The Turkish deputy prime minister has previously said the Turkish army will decide on the fate of Sinjar if the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) fails to push the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) out of the district.