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U.S. calls on Turkey to pull troops out of Iraq

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This month, the USA announced plans to deploy elite American military teams to Iraq to conduct raids against ISIS fighters there and in neighbouring Syria.

In the most significant Islamic State military operation in Iraq in seven months, a battalion-sized unit of some 500 Islamic State militants attacked the Kurdish forward line in northern Iraq, penetrating it in three locations before being stopped and repelled, U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren told a briefing. But Abadi, from the same Shiite political party, must tread carefully as he pushes government security forces deeper into Sunni Anbarprovince.

“An additional and extremely risky factor promoting global tensions is the unlawful presence of the Turkish armed forces on Iraqi territory near the city of Mosul, which arrived there without a request and approval of the legitimate government of Iraq”, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The KRSC, which is headed by de facto regional president Massud Barzani’s son Masrour, claimed that more than 70 IS members were killed in the attacks.

Iraqi Kurdish forces are a key United States partner in the war against IS, which overran large parts of Iraq a year ago.

Obama’s outreach marked the latest effort in an ongoing US diplomatic campaign to resolve the spat between Iraq and Turkey, and followed phone calls earlier in the week between Vice President Joe Biden and the prime ministers of both Iraq and Turkey.

“I think we are on the verge of breaking the back of Daesh”, he said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

The Iraqi reluctance for US assistance also could delay any move to embed USA military advisers with Iraqi brigade headquarters. But they “certainly might be taken up” for future battles, he said.

The Pentagon has increased support in Iraq since the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris showed the threat from Islamic State was quickly expanding.

Carter’s visit to Baghdad was hampered by a sandstorm that complicated travel for his meetings with Iraqi leaders.

The area has been under peshmerga control for some time but lies outside the official borders of the autonomous Kurdish region, inside Nineveh province of which Mosul is the capital. It will be created to better capitalize on intelligence in order to target, capture and kill Islamic State leaders.

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