Fatah Alliance leader Hadi Al-Ameri (right) receives Turkish ambassador Ali Riza Güney in his office in Baghdad, 10 November 2021
On 10 November, the head of Iraq’s Fatah Alliance political party, Hadi al-Ameri, received Turkish ambassador Ali Riza Güney in his office in Baghdad for talks that included a demand for the removal of Turkish troops from the country.
According to a statement released by the Fatah Alliance’s media office, “the two sides discussed the historical relations binding the two neighboring countries and the need to build strong relations with Turkey, resolve differences, and show Iraq’s seriousness in that, as well as the joint security situation between the two countries.”
The statement also highlighted that Al-Ameri stressed to the Turkish ambassador that “Iraq is continuing the issue of the removal of all foreign forces because the constitution does not allow for the presence of any non-Iraqi forces.”
In January of 2020, the Iraqi parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of expelling foreign occupation troops from the country, just days after the assassination of renowned anti-terror commanders Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes by a US drone strike.
However, two weeks ago the Turkish parliament voted to extend a military mandate that allows for cross-border operations in Iraq and Syria until 2023.
According to Iraqi media, the talks between the Fatah Alliance leader and the Turkish ambassador also touched upon the simmering tensions in Iraq following last month’s disputed parliamentary elections.
Al-Ameri said that a coalition of Shia parties is continuing to contest the announced results and filing appeals “with the competent judicial authority,” stressing that these parties will not allow any foreign interference in the electoral process.
Tensions have boiled over in Iraq in the past several days after the killing of at least five people during peaceful demonstrations in Baghdad denouncing reported fraud in the vote-count process.
This was followed by an alleged assassination attempt on Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on 7 November when his residence was targeted by a drone attack, in which no casualties were reported.