How a possible US withdrawal from Iraq affects Turkey
BY MEHMET ALACA
The U.S. assassinations of Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad as an attempt to irritate Iran flared up the long-standing debate about the U.S. presence in Iraq. The Iraqi Parliament, with the votes of Shiite MPs, recommended a bill for the Iraqi government to expel all foreign powers from the country, referring to the U.S. troops in particular. Even if the bill was not conclusive, the potential consequences of any future withdrawals need to be discussed. It is one of the expectations that in the case of U.S. withdrawal most of the foreign troops will have to withdraw, including Turkey. Turkey, which shares long land borders with the country, considers Iraq as being a crucial neighbor country in terms of its security, economic and historic relations. The end of the Turkish military presence in Iraq will harm Turkey's fight against the PKK and Daesh. A possible Turkish military withdrawal may disrupt Turkey's border security and bargaining power which Turkey gained with the construction of military bases in the region. As Iranian influence is expected to increase after the withdrawal, Turkey may face new restrictions from Tehran for its own benefit.
More:How a possible US withdrawal from Iraq affects Turkey | Daily Sabah