ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Turkish army forces entered Mosul province unexpectedly, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Saturday in a statement.
Iraqi President Fuad Masum provided a statement shortly after: "The presence of the Turkish Army Forces in Mosul Province without our permission is violating international rules. I want Turkish officials to get the force out of Iraq territory immediately."
The prime minister confirmed the presence of Turkish troops in northern Iraq and condemned Ankara for sending troops into Iraq without permission.
“Turkish soldiers have been deployed to provide training for Iraqi troops in an area near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul without permission of Baghdad officials, and we are disappointed by Turkey’s recent action and asking them to respect the territory of Iraq and leave the area immediately,” the statement reads.
The Turkish “ground military force” is purportedly training Iraqi soldiers in Zalkhan military camp near Mosul city, the statement said.
It remains unclear how many Turkish soldiers are in the country. Media have been barred from taking pictures of the forces.
“We have not asked Turkey for any force and no one had informed us about the arrival of the force,” al-Abadi said in the statement.
Mosul fell to ISIS on June 10. The defeat was a humiliation for the Iraqi Army, with many troops known to have abandoned their weapons and uniforms as they fled the ISIS onslaught.