Abadi warns Turkey as Ankara deploys troops

Turkish military sources said Tuesday that it had deployed tanks and artillery to southeastern districts near the Iraqi border. (Reuters)

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday warned Turkey against provoking a confrontation while saying he does not want war, after Ankara deployed tanks and artillery near the border. Turkey has insisted that it will play a role in the battle to retake Mosul from ISIS militants, but Baghdad has rejected this assertion and repeatedly called on Ankara to withdraw troops it has deployed near the city.

“The invasion of Iraq will lead to Turkey being dismantled,” Abadi said at a televised news conference. “We do not want war with Turkey, and we do not want a confrontation with Turkey,” he said. “But if a confrontation happens, we are ready for it. We will consider (Turkey) an enemy and we will deal with it as an enemy,” Abadi said.

Turkish military sources said Tuesday that it had deployed tanks and artillery to southeastern districts near the Iraqi border. The 30-vehicle convoy left Ankara for Silopi, the sources told AFP, adding that it was now close to Adana province in southern Turkey.

Turkey’s Defense Minister Fikri Isik said the deployment was part of Ankara’s preparation for “important developments in the region”. “Turkey is preparing in advance for whatever happens (and) this is one element of that,” he said.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49
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