Shiite Militias Demand Turkish Troops Withdraw From Iraq

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
December 12, 2015 Updated: December 12, 2015

BAGHDAD—Shiite militia members gathering in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square are demanding the withdrawal of Turkish troops from northern Iraq.

Crowds of young men in military fatigues chanted against Turkish “occupation,” vowing they would fight the Turkish troops themselves if they do not withdraw.

The demonstration Saturday, called for by the umbrella group of Shiite militias in Iraq whose power rivals that of the Iraqi army, was attended by militia leaders and some Shiite politicians.

Turkey has had troops near Mosul since last year but the arrival of additional troops last week sparked an uproar in Baghdad. Ankara subsequently halted new deployments.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated Friday that Turkey would not pull out troops already stationed in Iraq and that the training process “in agreement” with Iraq would continue.