US Vice President Joe Biden has called on Turkey to pull its troops out of Iraq as they have been deployed “without the prior consent of the Iraqi government.”
The White House made the announcement on Wednesday after a telephone conversation between Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
“Both leaders welcomed initial indications of the withdrawal of some Turkish forces and agreed this should continue, reiterating that any foreign forces can only be present in Iraq with the coordination and permission of the Iraqi government,” read a statement by the White House.
It added that Washington remained committed to sovereignty and territorial integrity in the crisis-hit country, and “called on Turkey to do the same by withdrawing any military forces from Iraqi territory that have not been authorized by the Iraqi government.”
The US vice president also urged the two countries’ leaders to engage in a dialogue “to address any outstanding grievances in the spirit of mutual cooperation.”
Turkey’s deployment to the Bashiqa region, near the Iraqi Daesh-held city of Mosul, has irked the government in Baghdad as it was done without the Iraqi government’s permission.
Ankara maintains that it is protecting itself against the Takfiri militants in the region.
This is while the country has been implicated in supporting the terror group, in part, by allowing them to cross into Syria.