Turkey Refuses To Withdraw Troops From Iraq, Threatens To Slap Sanctions On Russia

Tyler Durden's picture

Last Friday, Turkey invaded Iraq.

That sounds more dramatic than it actually was. Turkey sent around 150 soldiers and two dozens tanks to Bashiqa, just northeast of Mosul in what Ankara described as an effort to replace an existing contingent of around 90 troops that have supposedly been on a “training” mission with the Peshmerga for the better part of two years.

As we documented over the weekend, this is hardly the first time the Turks have entered the country. 

However, the circumstances are quite different this time around. That is, this isn't a anti-terror mission aimed at tracking the PKK. Over the weekend, we asked if Turkey was simply trying to protect lucrative oil smuggling routes run by both ISIS and the KRG. On Sunday, an angry Iraq gave Ankara 48 hours to withdraw the troops - or else. 

Ok, or else what? Or else Iran’s Shiite militias will hunt them down and kill them according to a statement from Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada. On top of that, at least one influential Shiite politician (the infamous Moktada al-Sadr-linked Hakim al-Zamili) wants PM Abadi to appeal to Moscow for “direct military intervention.”

Baghdad is also set to appeal to the Security Council. But when it comes to being belligerent, Erdogan is right up there with the best of them, which is why we weren’t at all surprised to learn that Turkey is refusing to pull its troops out of Iraq. On Tuesday, the Turkish foreign ministry said that while it would halt the deployment (there are now as many as 300 Turkish boots on the ground at Bashiqa) Ankara would not comply with Baghdad’s demands regarding the withdrawal of the troops and tanks.

“The arrival of a heavily armed Turkish contingent at a camp near the frontline close to the city of Mosul has added yet another controversial deployment to a war against Islamic State that has drawn in most of the world's major powers,” Reuters notes. “Russia, already furious after Turkey shot down one of its jets flying a sortie over Syria last month, said it considered the presence of the Turkish forces in Iraq illegal.”

And Russia is correct. Iraq is a sovereign state and the Turks were most certainly not invited which means that by definition, what Ankara is doing is illegal. Hilariously, Turkey contends that Baghdad did invite them - it’s just that Iraq doesn’t remember doing it. "Training at this camp began with the knowledge of the Iraqi Defence Ministry and police," Turkish PM  Ahmet Davutoglu says. Iraq says no such agreement exists.

Still more absurd is Davutoglu’s contention that it is in fact Baghdad who's being “provocative.” "Those who make different interpretations of the Turkish military presence in Mosul are involved in deliberate provocation," he claims. 

So breaking that down, Turkey deploys 300 troops and 21 tanks to a sovereign country without that country’s permission, then tries to claim that the “host” country agreed to the deployment even if they don’t recall doing so, and finally, when the country that was invaded cries foul, they are being “provocative.” It doesn’t get much more ridiculous than that. 

Meanwhile, Davutoglu also suggested that Ankara may impose sanctions on Russia in retaliation for the raft of measures announced by The Kremlin late last month. "We are ready for talks and every kind of exchange of ideas with Russia but will never allow anything to be dictated to us. In the face of Russia's sanctions, we will implement our own sanctions if we regard it necessary,” the PM warned.

Again, this is a bizarre attempt to pretend as though Turkey is somehow the victim. It was Turkey that shot down a Russian plane, not the other way around. When Ankara suggests that The Kremlin is trying to “dictate” Turkish affairs with the imposition of retaliatory economic sanctions, Turkey is effectively pretending Putin just decided out of the clear blue to cut lucrative trade ties with no provocation whatsoever. A message to Davutoglu: when you shoot down someone's aircraft, you should expect a response. It's not an attempt to "dictate" anything. It's an attempt to let you know that you can't simply blow planes out of the sky with impunity. 

Finally, just to make sure he covered all the bases, Davutoglu lashed out at Iran, saying that if certain “attitudes continue, the traditional Turkey-Iran friendship will suffer great harm.” “I know the Russian and Iranian people do not share this hostile stance of their leaders towards Turkey,” he added. 

As Reuters notes, it’s not entirely clear what “attitudes” he’s referring to, but we’d guess the PM’s comments have something to do with the series of statements we highlighted on Monday evening incuding this, from Iranian diplomat and analyst Seyed Hadi Afghahi: 

“It is important to point out a few key points. Firstly, it is important to understand whether it is sure that the purchase by Turkey of Daesh’s stolen oil was carried out with the full knowledge of President Erdogan, his son and son in law. The reaction of Erdogan and Turkish authorities can say one thing: they were stunned and shocked that Moscow has such evidence. This significantly affected the position of Turkey's NATO allies." 

Speaking of Turkey's "NATO allies", one has to believe that the only reason Erdogan has been able to get away with the troop deployment in Iraq is because Turkey is a member of the alliance. If Russia had simply sent 300 marines to Mosul and rolled in 25 tanks against Baghdad's wishes, the Western powers would have lost their minds. 

Unsurprisingly, the KRG is remaining "neutral". Here's Rudaw:

"Before, there were agreements between Turkey and Baghdad and local authorities of Mosul over training (Sunni) Arab volunteers to be well-prepared for an anticipated battle for Mosul," Kurdish President Masoud Barzani told Rudaw.


"The Kurdistan region is not part of the problem. I will discuss this topic in Turkey tomorrow and we will also talk to Baghdad," he added. "If Turkish troops came to fight ISIS, it would be good."

Of course it would also "be good" for the KRG if Turkish troops came to protect the illicit crude trade which is the lifeblood of Barzani's government and pays the Peshmerga's salaries.

As for what comes next, here's Peshmerga commander Hazhar Omer: 

“Iraq will probably turn to the United Nations to file a complaint against Turkey than use military force to evict the Turkish force stationed in Bashik now."

Once again, given Turkey's status as NATO member, don't expect the Security Council to be much help, as Russian objections will largely fall on deaf ears - and we all know what happens when diplomatic channels fail...

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Looney's picture

Turkish Deja-voodoo  ;-)


Bumpo's picture

Putin - Time to No Fly Zone Their Ass! At least Turkey got a 48 hr warning. The Russian jets were knocked out of the sky in 17 seconds. Blow their shit up. Pay back is a bitch, and they got it coming. Blame it on the Americans, and act dumb like they do.

SilverRhino's picture

Putin should just drop some VX all over those bastards.   But paint the shells / missile markings in Iraqi army colors.  

Really start fucking with Turkey's head.  

Manthong's picture

Erdogan is cruisin’ for a bruisin’

He might get it from multiple directions..

His citizenry might get fed up.

His military might get fed up.

Russia might get fed up.

When push come to shove, Russia might get its way because I do not believe that 2/3’s of the NATO members would risk nuclear annihilation in order satisfy the evil empire’s mad designs in MENA.

And they know damn well that the psychopath NATO leadership’s vilification of Russia is wholly unjustified.

nope-1004's picture

Once broke Turkey falls, who will the US/Israel then get to be its ME bitch?  Qatar?  lmao

Running out of contestants.....

Sudden Debt's picture

Remember that America place it's missile shield in Turkey.

And nukes.

And that Turkey controls the black sea and Russia doesn't have that many port connections.

CrazyCooter's picture

This is a propaganda war. Turkey is attempting to create a situation that the west can then use to escalate involvement. They just need some base material to work with so they can spin and craft some kind of narrative. Russia hasn't been going along and has simply been avoiding kinetic conflict (with Turkey and the US) and simply exposing them on the global stage.

This is making Obama look like a real idiot, despite all the spin. I don't think Turkey and the US can continue to do this forever without repercussions, which is likely Russia's strategy.

Maybe they will get desperate in the end and attack themselves and blame it on Russia...



Manthong's picture

Good comments, but it doesn’t that much to expose that Obama is an idiot.. in all 57 states.

99.5% of climate scientists agree.

Reiyuki's picture

You actually think Obama is the one running things around here?

bid the soldiers shoot's picture

"... and Russia doesn't have that many port connections."


suggesting the war, when it comes, will be quick and NON-CONVENTIONAL

Surviver22's picture


It's the greatest threat global security has ever faced.

All the weapons in the world won't matter once ISIS army kick into gear!


SilverRhino's picture

Ever seen what a string 25 Megaton bombs on a penetrators could do to clear out a channel through Turkey?  

Russia has an entire regiment of those very missles ready to go and aimed at NORAD.   Just a target retask and go. 

Every Russian naval vessel has NBC seals as well. 


Crush the cube's picture

Going, going, gone.



By the way, Germany also pulled it's defensive batteries out.  What impeccable timing, as if they all knew in advance.

krispkritter's picture

Security Council ignores Baghdad. Baghdad calls Moscow. Turk emplacement gets bombed. Iraq says 'We told you so!'. Putin chuckles. Terdogan loses his shit...then?

Occident Mortal's picture

Then ISIS moves North, one step closer to Europe.

Occident Mortal's picture

The only country that can end the crisis in Syria is China, and the only reason China can wade in with authority is because until now China has been neutral.

chunga's picture

With everybody following Uncle Scams orders to gang up on Russia, that would even things up a bit.

BlindMonkey's picture

"Putin should just drop some VX all over those bastards.   But paint the shells / missile markings in U.S. Army colors."


Fixed it for ya.

Twox2's picture

Turkey has already shot down its first and last Russian jet over Syria.  At a time of Putin's choosing, he will send a Russian jet to the edge of Turkish airspace.  The instant Turkey scrambles F-16s to intercept, they will be targeted by the state-of-the-art S400 air defense system now deployed in Syria.

Poof.  No more F-16s.  It's coming...

Blankone's picture

Not much of a chess player is that Putin fellow.  It is very cheap to deliver the S400 to Russia's base in Syria but he did not bother.  No expense and a lot of protection, just in case.  But Putin did not forsee any of it.  Totally unprepared.

Just the other day NATO flew jets right into Syria and bombed a Syrian military base with complete disregard for the S400's.  At this point it is more likely that Turkey will shoot down a Russian jet with a surface to air missile.  That is will be Putin too afraid to fly close to Turkey.

Why is Putin afraid to bomb the Turkish regulars who have taken a position within Syria? 

The opportunity is slipping from Putin rapidly.  The moment will have been lost.  Turkey has boots in Syria already and when NATO does Putin's effort is finished due to his own fears.

In the meanwhile, is it Poland who is asking NATO to put nuke in their country to defend against Russia?  They the others close to Russia's borders will do the same. 

Beowulf55's picture

I would like a link the info about NATO flew jets into Syria and bombed a Syrian military base.......and Putin not a chess player?  NATO is pissing themselves afraid of being drawn into a war started by Turkey.........


Your mind works differently doesn't it?

Blankone's picture

You are kidding right?  Please read the artcles on ZH the last couple days.

Baby Bladeface's picture
Baby Bladeface (not verified) Blankone Dec 8, 2015 4:28 PM

It is evident that you are far from the mind.

Beowulf55's picture

13 weeks...........and this is your analysis?  WOW!

Baby Bladeface's picture
Baby Bladeface (not verified) Blankone Dec 8, 2015 3:45 PM

Holy shit, what a misery, these ukrobots...

Themanwithoutaface's picture

I'm new here, so please excuses my language. But Turkey wouldn't take a shit without US appoval. I know Russians and their mentality, and this will end badly for all of us.

. . . _ _ _ . . .'s picture

"Images show Turkey is covertly constructing airbase in northern Iraq"

"Turkey Sets Up ISIS Airbase Outside Mosul"

"US Building Military Airbase in Northeastern Syria"

"Confirmed: U.S. are illegally and without U.N. mandate occupying a civil airport in Northeastern Syria, to build a military base for the U.S. Air Forces"

Uncertain T's picture

Time to send in "The Donald" to get this stuff sorted out..... It would be a Yuuuuuugggge boost to his foreign policy credentials. 

Blankone's picture

One side is doing a lot of doing the other side is doing a lot of talking and some doing.  Which is which.

Turkey also has positioned troops in Syria.  After shooting down Putin's jet.

But the Putin fan club refuses to see actual events.  Always with the Don't Poke the Bear, Putin's Is Gonna Do Something Now!!!  But it never happens.  Then the Putin fans say that Putin's inaction is a sign of a master chess player.  Then that they say his inaction is due to concern for mankind and to avoid possible war.  Then they say it is due to not having any choice because Russia cannot win.

Once Again, here we are.  Putin does it or not.  When Putin began bombing Russia took the advantage and momentum, now you can already feel that his opponents have taken the momentum and Putin is being boxed out.  You knew there was weakness when Putin had to do photo opps with him riding a horse without a shirt and in his judo outfit. 

SO, Putin fans tells us more about what scary Putin may do, is gonna do now, is gonna do next year, has drawn another red line and will hold this one,


Max Steel's picture

Lol criminal thug beating his warcrimes as success and challenging others. Empire of Chaos in action.

Baby Bladeface's picture
Baby Bladeface (not verified) Blankone Dec 8, 2015 3:59 PM

Ukrainians peculiar perception through emotions to the detriment of elementary logic and common sense.

trulz4lulz's picture

If it makes you feel any better, its just software, not a real person. Would explain the inability to think for itself. Its programed software.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

"Images show Turkey is covertly constructing airbase in northern Iraq"

"Turkey Sets Up ISIS Airbase Outside Mosul"

And what, pray tell, is Russia DOING about it?  Besides playing Pat-A-Cake with its US "Partners".

Time to drop a FOAB, to demonstrate its effect in the Theater of War, and to bring that Turkish cur Erdogan to heel.  If you want people to know that you're not "fucking around", then stop fucking around with Queensbury punches.

. . . _ _ _ . . .'s picture

Your namesake, the real Kirk used guile and patience, brute force almost never seemed to work for him.

"(Don't) use the force Luke."

[I know I'm mixing franchises, it just worked out that way.] ;)

Soul Glow's picture

Turkey slap sanctions on Russia?

Turkey controls the drug trade east to west; there is plenty of dope in Russia.

GartmansTaint's picture
GartmansTaint (not verified) Dec 8, 2015 12:05 PM

No more hairy bushed women for you comrads!

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

Stir that pot, the globalists need a good war to distract everyone from the shitstew they've made out of the global economy!  Added benefit is the price climb they can goose for oil, you know, to keep the local wahabi terrorist-trainers in business.

EuroPox's picture

The Turks are stoooopid - which means they are dangerous.

blabam's picture

Protip: don't keep islamists in NATO. 

Joe Plane's picture

Seems Turkey is trying to do again a Cyprus (like in 1974 it occupied Northern Cyprus to "protect" the turkish minority there and NATO did nothing to stop what was an actual war between its two member countries - Greece and Turkey). Now the aim is perhaps to bite off pieces of Iraq and Syria and declare some "independemt" puppet state.

farflungstar's picture

Yeah they'll call it Kurdistan - it will be israel and Turkey's newly created bestest friend 

Winston Churchill's picture

The aim is to ship Turkish Kurds to a new Kurdish state formed from lands

in Syria and Northern Iraq.Its a twofer for Erdogan and suits Israel and the US

just fine,by destabilizing the remaing area forever.

Usura's picture

As the Polish are fond of saying, "The jew cries out in pain, as he hits you."

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

If life, business, politics and PR teaches us anything, it's that feminine modes of Passive Aggressive work better than masculine Open Aggressive methods.

That is because (a) Most people are simpletons, and (b) Simpletons can grasp Overt/Obvious better than Covert/Subtle. Even on ZH we see this all the time.

OregonGrown's picture

Turkey refuses to leave???

Nothing that a few well placed bombs and missiles couldnt solve!

Bomb the bastards THEN bomb the excape route back to Turkey!

Rakshas's picture

"Kill all they send until they stop coming" ........some movie about another imperialist success story

Mark Mywords's picture
Mark Mywords (not verified) Dec 8, 2015 12:12 PM

Truth: The first casualty of war.

Not the last, though.

buttmint's picture

...this is all just beginning. A good old-fashion spat leading to advanced sabre rattling.


Long popcorn?

RawPawg's picture

blah,blah,blah.....just like the stock market

this game of war positioning and talk

just keeps going on and on.....and on