First Published: 2017-04-20

Iraq summons Turkish envoy over Erdogan interview
Erdogan’s comments describing Iraqi paramilitary organisation as ‘terrorist’ prompt Iraq to summon envoy, hand him formal protest note.
Middle East Online

Hashed al-Shaabi dominated by Shiite militia loyal to Iran

BAGHDAD - Iraq's foreign ministry has summoned the Turkish ambassador over an interview in which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described an Iraqi paramilitary organisation as "terrorist", officials said Thursday.

"The foreign ministry has decided to summon the Turkish ambassador in Baghdad to hand him a formal protest note regarding recent remarks by the Turkish president on the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation)," ministry spokesman Ahmad Jamal said in a statement.

In an interview to the Doha-based Al-Jazeera channel, whose Baghdad office was shut down last year, Erdogan spoke of the Hashed al-Shaabi, which has played a key role in the fight against the Islamic State group.

"In the fight against Daesh (IS) in Iraq there is something striking. It's interesting, the Iraqi parliament says the Hashed al-Shaabi is not a terror group but what is interesting is who is behind this terror group," Erdogan said.

Fateh Yildiz started to serve as Turkish ambassador to Iraq in January this year.

The Hashed al-Shaabi is an umbrella of armed groups dominated by Shiite militia loyal to Iran.

Turkey is keen to retain its influence in parts of northern Iraq and the Hashed al-Shaabi has ventured ever further north in recent months, raising concerns that Iran and Turkey could clash via their proxies.

Erdogan is a reviled figure among much of Iraq's Shiite parties, who accuse him of having directly supported the emergence of IS and of continuing to abet the jihadists' operations.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has been under intense pressure from his own camp over the continued presence in northern Iraq of Turkish military bases.

For its part, Ankara wants tougher action against the Turkish separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which it considers a terrorist organisation and which has bases in northern Iraq.

 

Israel kills three in attack on pro-regime Syria camp

Iran's historically unpredictable elections

France votes under heavy security

US Defense Secretary Mattis visits strategic Djibouti

Satellite dishes sprout in post-IS east Mosul

Iran reverses decision to ban live presidential debates

Six Israelis including two soldiers held for anti-Arab attacks

Economists, rights advocates concerned over Egypt’s state of emergency

Qatari hunters ecstatic at release from Iraqi kidnappers

Prosecutor says charities colluding with migrant traffickers

Iran's Ahmadinejad won't endorse other candidates

Rocky days ahead after Turkey referendum

Huge Shiite crowd throngs Baghdad shrine

Rabat accuses Algiers of expelling 55 migrants across border

Morocco, US take part in joint military exercise

US defence secretary visits key ally Qatar

Lebanese activists ramp up campaign against rape law

Saudis among kidnapped hunters freed in Iraq

Trial in Tunisia beach massacre set to begin April 26

Tunisia hotel attacked by jihadists sees hope in 'rebirth'

IS claims deadly attack on FSB office in Russia

Spate of attacks shows weakening of Islamic State

Mediterranean migrant death toll tops 1,000 in 2017

Iraq forces free 11-year-old Yazidi girl in Mosul

Kuwaiti opposition leader freed from prison

Kidnapped Qataris freed in Iraq, Syria evacuations resume

Turkey opposition to appeal referendum at top court

Fears engulf French election after Paris shooting

An Iraqi family's Colombian odyssey

US defence chief in Israel for talks on Iran, Syria

Morocco arrests scandal-hit Ferrari driving 'rich kid'

Syria evacuees on move again after being blocked for 48 hours

French policeman killed in IS attack in Paris

Trump: Iran not 'living up to spirit' of nuclear deal

Ahmadinejad barred from running in election

US urges UN council to focus on 'incredibly destructive' Iran

Iran bans live election debates

UN, Russia set for Syria meet without US

Suicide bombers at Syria transit site 'disguised' as aid workers

Moscow bid for new Syria attack probe rejected

Iraq summons Turkish envoy over Erdogan interview

Erdogan revives death penalty debate in Turkey

Thousands protest unemployment in Tunisia

Israel occupation forces fire at Palestinian protesters

Saudi Arabia malls to hire only locals