Iraq-Turkey tensions rise as Iraqi PM warns of regional war
ANKARA: (APP) Iraq and Turkey on Wednesday summoned their respective ambassadors in a bitter war of words between the two neighbours ahead of a planned operation to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from militants.
The dispute centres around Turkish troops deployed near Mosul, a presence that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has strongly opposed and said he fears could lead to "regional war."
Ankara called in the Iraqi ambassador while Baghdad said it had decided to summon the Turkish envoy following bitter verbal exchanges, the two foreign ministries said.
The Turkish parliament at the weekend extended by one year a government mandate allowing its troops to deploy on both Iraqi and Syrian territory.
The Iraqi parliament condemned the decision, calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops already there.
"We do not want to enter a regional conflict," Abadi told a news conference in Baghdad, saying he fears "the Turkish adventure will turn into a regional war."
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned of possible sectarian consequences arising from the Mosul operation, prompting the Iraqi foreign ministry to summon the Turkish ambassador over "provocative Turkish statements".