Iraq will use military action against Turkey if needed by compulsion

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Iraq will use military action against Turkey if needed by compulsion

BAGHDAD: Iraq's foreign minister said that the government could resort to military action if it is forced to defend itself from what it calls an intrusion of Turkish forces into part of its northern territory.

Turkey said it had deployed a force protection unit earlier this month to the area, citing heightened security risks near a camp where its troops were training an Iraqi militia to fight Islamic State insurgents. Ankara acknowledged that there had been a "miscommunication" with Baghdad over the deployment.

 

Iraqi security forces have had only a limited presence in Nineveh province, where the camp is located, since collapsing in June 2014 in the face of a lightning advance by Islamic State.

 

Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Iraq was committed to exhausting peaceful diplomatic avenues to avoid a crisis with Turkey, its northern neighbour, but insisted that all options remained open.

 

"If we are forced to fight and defend our sovereignty and riches, we will be forced to fight," he told reporters in Baghdad. (Reuters)