A deadline for Turkey to withdraw its troops from the north of Iraq expires today.
Point of view
Turkey is there to train the forces against terrorism. But the Iraqi government has become highly sensitive
But despite Baghdad’s ultimatum to pull out within 48 hours, there are no signs that hundreds of Turkish troops will retreat.
Ankara says it is confident Iraq will come to accept the deployment, as part of efforts to fight ISIL militants.
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told a media conference in Ankara: “Turkey is there to train soldiers against terrorism. But the Iraqi government has become highly sensitive.
“I reckon the Iraqi government will change its stance after receiving a letter from our Prime Minister and after ministers from the two countries hold meetings on this matter.”
ISIL took over the northern city of Mosul in June last year.
The Iraqi government maintains it never invited the Turkish force, but Ankara says they were welcomed to a military camp by local Kurdish authorities.
Baghdad says it will take its case to the UN if the troops remain.
Iraq gives Turkey 48 hours to withdraw its military near Islamic State stronghold of Mosul https://t.co/5eKswMBiUj— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) December 6, 2015