Sun, Dec 13, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Iraq urges UN to demand Turkey withdraw troops


Iraq on Friday appealed to the UN Security Council to demand an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Turkish troops from northern Iraq, calling Turkey’s military incursion a “flagrant violation” of international law.

“We call on the Security Council to demand that Turkey withdraw its forces immediately ... and not to violate Iraqi sovereignty again,” Iraqi Ambassador to the UN Mohamed Ali al-Hakim said in a letter to US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, who is president of the council this month.

“This is considered a flagrant violation of the principles of the UN Charter, and a violation of Iraqi territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state of Iraq,” the letter said, according to an unofficial translation of the Arabic original.

The letter, which was seen by reporters, was sent after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi instructed the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs to lodge a formal complaint with the UN.

One diplomat on the 15-nation council said on condition of anonymity that there were no immediate plans to convene a special meeting this weekend in response to the Iraqi letter.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said that he would not bow to Iraqi demands to withdraw Turkish troops from a camp close to the Islamic State-held city of Mosul.

Al-Hakim made clear that bilateral diplomacy had so far failed to end the dispute between the neighbors.

“Iraq worked on containment of this issue by diplomatic means and bilateral talks, but these efforts did not succeed in convincing Turkey to withdraw its occupying forces from Iraqi territory,” al-Hakim wrote to Power.

Separately, Iraqi officials say a suicide car bomb targeting a border security post in the western Al Anbar Governorate has killed five and wounded 10.

Officials say the commander of the base is among the dead.

Driving an explosives-laden car, the bomber rammed the vehicle into a checkpoint outside the headquarters of border security in the town of An Nukhayb, 100km from the border with Saudi Arabia, officials said.

A medical official confirmed the casualty figures.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity, as they were not authorized to talk to the media.

No one had immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Additional reporting by AP

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