Turkish tanks at the Turkey-Iraq border. Photo: Burhan Ozbilici/AP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkey is considering sending more troops to its Bashiqa camp near Mosul if talks with Baghdad on the status of that camp fail, officials have told the Turkish press.
Anonymous official sources told Hurriyet that a Turkish delegation had visited Iraq on October 17 and presented a draft agreement to Iraqi leaders, in which they proposed Turkish troops should remain in Bashiqa throughout the course of the ongoing Mosul operation.
Ankara is currently waiting for a response from Baghdad; if they get a positive one then talks can continue on this contentious issue. If the talks collapse and no agreement is reached between the two, Ankara might send in additional troops to Bashiqa to defend against any possible ISIS militant threats.
Turkey has been proposing that its forces in Bashiqa become part of the coalition forces fighting ISIS.
The deployment of Turkish troops and heavy weapons to Bashiqa last December sparked a diplomatic crisis between Baghdad and Ankara that was reignited this month after Iraqi parliamentarians urged the Iraqi government to brand the Turkish presence as an occupation.
Turkey has said its presence in northern Iraq is necessary to combat the threat posed by ISIS.