Turkey will be ‘dismantled’ if invades Iraq, Baghdad warns over Ankara build-up at border
If Ankara attempts to invade Iraq, it will be considered an enemy and will be “dismantled,” Iraq’s prime minister said in response to the Turkish military deploying heavy armor, including tanks, to the border near Iraq.
“The invasion of Iraq will lead to Turkey being dismantled,” Haider al-Abadi said on Tuesday at a news conference, as cited by AFP.
According to al-Abadi, Baghdad doesn’t “want war with Turkey, and we do not want a confrontation with Turkey.”
“But if a confrontation happens, we are ready for it. We will consider [Turkey] an enemy and we will deal with it as an enemy,” Abadi said.
Abadi’s statement was harshly criticized by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who said that Abadi can’t cope “against terrorist organizations, but trying to bully and [be] rhetorical.”
“If you [Iraq] have the power, why did you leave Mosul to terrorist organizations in the first place?” the minister asked. “Why has the PKK [Kurdistan Workers Party] been invading your lands for years?” he asked, as cited by Anadolu Agency.
Turkey’s deputy prime minister said Abadi had gone too far with his statement. The Turkish deployment was a precaution rather than a threat, he explained.
“I regard Abadi’s words as overstepping the mark. Abadi must make statements lowering the tension,” Numan Kurtulmus told the broadcaster NTV, as cited by Reuters.
“We are obliged to take measures to guard against threats from across Turkey’s border,” he added. “It is more of a precaution than a threat.”
On Tuesday, the Turkish Defense Ministry said that Ankara is deploying heavy armor to the border near the town of Silopi, close to the border with Iraq. Defense Minister Fikri Isik said the Turkish military will tackle a potential “increase” of threats.