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Iraq summons Turkey ambassador over military presence

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq’s foreign ministry summoned the Turkish ambassador in Baghdad to protest what it said were “provocative” comments made in Ankara about keeping Turkish troops in northern Iraq, a ministry spokesman said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Turkish parliament decided last week to extend a mandate that allows military operations against militant organizations in Iraq and Syria for another year.

Turkey says it deployed troops at a base in northern Iraq late last year as part of an international mission to train and equip Iraqi forces to fight against Islamic State, which controls a swathe of territory south of the border region, around the city of Mosul, and also in neighboring Syria.

The Iraqi government says it never invited such a force and considers the Turkish troops occupiers.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli, editing by Larry King

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