Press TV- Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has arrived in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, following a war of words between the two countries over the presence of Turkish troops near the city of Mosul.
Yildirim’s two-day visit to the Arab country began on Saturday, Iraq’s state TV reported.
The Turkish premier was welcomed by his Iraqi counterpart, Haider al-Abadi, in Baghdad.
“We hope that his (Yildirim’s) visit will open a new chapter in Turkey-Iraq relations,” Turkey’s ambassador to Baghdad, Faruk Kaymakci, said on his Twitter account.
Last December, Turkey deployed a number of soldiers, equipped with heavy arms and backed by tanks, to the Bashiqa military camp on the outskirts of Mosul, where a major operation in underway by Iraqi soldiers and allied fighters to retake the city from Daesh terrorists.
Ankara claimed the deployment was part of a mission to train and equip Iraqi Kurdish forces in the fight against Daesh. However, Baghdad has repeatedly denounced the move as a violation of its sovereignty and called for the withdrawal of Turkish troops.
Almost 200 Militants slain in Mosul
Meanwhile, on Friday, a total of 194 Daesh elements were killed in the Iraqi forces’ push to recapture Mosul.
The Iraqi Defense Ministry said in a statement that 22 Takfiris died in the army’s drone strikes in the city. Abdullah Yasim Soleiman al-Jabouri, also known as Abu Sahir, who was in charge of Daesh’s air unit, was among the victims of the drone attacks.
Meanwhile, Arabic-language al-Forat news agency reported the recapture of al-Asar village in western Mosul by the Iraqi popular forces.
Separately, Commander of Federal Police Forces Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat said that Daesh prisons were uncovered in the recently liberated Mosul’s al-Wahdah region, situated on the left bank of the Tigris River.
Additionally, an unidentified security source in the Iraqi Army’s 7th Division in Anbar Province announced the liberation of the villages of n al-Zawiyah and al-Sakrah in western Ramadi.
The Anbar operation left 13 Daesh terrorists dead and destroyed 105 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as well as 11 rockets and three warehouses storing guns.
Iraqi forces also managed to hoist the national flag over building in Ghufran Khuser eastern Mosul. The Iraqi flag was further raised over two hospitals and medical college in southern Mosul.
Terror attacks kill civilians in Salahuddin
An IED was exploded targeting locals who were fleeing Daesh-held areas in the Jabal Hamrin district of Salahuddin Province, killing two people and injuring 26 others, among them women and children.
Another booby-trap also went off in Baghdad’s Yusufiyah, leaving one person dead and four other wounded.
Moreover, a similar blast hit Baghdad’s Mushahid neighborhood where a tribesman was slain and three more sustained injuries.