Baghdad, Ankara should solve issue of Turkish troops in Iraq bilaterally
The governments of Iraq and Turkey should continue their dialogue and resolve the issue of Ankara's military operations within Iraqi borders at bilateral discussions, US State Department spokesperson John Kirby told reporters in a press briefing, Sputnik reported.
On Friday, Turkey deployed up to 150 military personnel to northern Iraq's Nineveh province - without Baghdad's approval. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi demanded the withdrawal of the Turkish troops, which were moved into Iraqi territory without the Iraqi government's authorization.
"We continue to believe that the best path forward here is for Turkey and Iraq to work this out bilaterally and to have discussions, and they have, and we are encouraged by that," Kirby said on Tuesday when asked whether the United States would support discussing the issue at the UN Security Council.
The spokesperson also stressed that all efforts against the Islamic State terrorists inside Iraq have to be undertaken "with cooperation, in consultation with the Iraqi government and with their full permission."
On Sunday, Abadi gave Turkey 48 hours to withdraw its troops, saying that Iraq could then resort to any measures, which include raising the issue at the UN Security Council.
The Security Council is expected to hold a closed-door meeting on the matter on Tuesday.