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US official: Iraq 'fine' with Turkish forces in country

A official form the US State Department has defended the presence of Turkish forces in Iraq, on Thursday, despite an ongoing tiff between Ankara and Bagdad.

According to the official – who was speaking off the record – said that the Turkish military "began to train some of these forces on the ground at the invitation of the Iraqi government", going on to say that the Iraqi government was "fine" with their presence.

The statement comes in the context of a an apparent disagreement between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi over the presence of Turkish forces in Bashiqa, near Mosul. According to Erdogan, al-Abadi had warned him off the idea that the town could serve as the location for a Turkish military base.

The U.S. official said that the spat was "not constructive", particular as Turkish forces and their allies are winding of for a potential assault on the Daesh stronghold of Mosul.

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Asia & AmericasEurope & RussiaIraqMiddle EastNewsTurkeyUS
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