Recently, Turkey has sent troops into Iraq. This article mentions some recent developments:

“We have confirmation that Turkish forces, numbering about one armoured regiment with a number of tanks and artillery, entered Iraqi territory ... allegedly to train Iraqi groups, without a request or authorisation from Iraqi federal authorities

what piece of international law gave Turkey the right to send these troops into Iraq?

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    Turkey military has been crossing into Iraq territory since Saddam was ousted, and mostly to chase Kurdish militant groups. It is kind of a grey zone (Turkey should not cross into Iraq territory, but Iraq should ensure that its territory is not used as a base of actions against Turkey and has not been much effective at that). I find much more worrying the training (and probably supply of weapons) to militant groups that are not controlled by the Iraq government.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 3:20
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    This Q is being discussed on meta. Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 7:04

2 Answers 2


UN Charter: Article 51

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

UN recognizes the right of independent states to use military force for the purpose of self defense, and does not impose limitations on the use of force for self defense, even for members of UN.

UN Definition of Aggression: http://www.un-documents.net/a29r3314.htm

Article 1:

Aggression is the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations, as set out in this Definition.

Article 3:

Any of the following acts, regardless of a declaration of war, shall, subject to and in accordance with the provisions of article 2, qualify as an act of aggression:

(a) The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof,

As such, Turkey has committed an act of aggression and Iraq may individually, or collectively with allies, use military force for the purpose of self defense.

The reason of training Kurds to fight terrorism or any other reason for that matter, does not negate the act of aggression (i.e. the cause does not justify the means). Furthermore, Turkey is actively fighting against Kurds anywhere they can find them (genocide?) so it is highly unlikely, that Turkey is providing any form of aid to Kurdish fighters.


Turkey has no right to send his troops to Iraq without the consent of the Iraqi government. Its a form of invasion which should be strongly condemned by the UN.

And as Iraq sees it as such, they have set their air force on high alert to be ready to react on any further advancement of Turkish military. The commander of the voluntary forces in Iraq stated that they will attack Turkish soldiers if they do not withdraw.

After the Iraqi PM has demanded the withdrawal of the Turkish troops, which are not only personell but heavy weapons as well, Turkey stated that they have sent them to train Kurdish fighters and support Turkish troops being already for some time in Iraq.

If this is the case, why did they not inform Baghdad beforehand?

Here is what the guardian writes today:

Political analysts saw last week’s deployment by Turkey, which has the second biggest army in Nato, as an attempt to assert its influence in the face of increased Russian and Iranian involvement in Syria and Iraq.

“Turkey seems to be angling to prove to the Russians and Iranians that they will not be allowed to have either the Syrian or Iraqi war theatres only to themselves,” said Aydın Selcen, a former consul general of Turkey in Irbil, the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.

Here is what rt writes:

The Turkish intrusion into Iraq comes shortly after Ankara’s motives in the war on Islamic State have been questioned by Moscow, Tehran, as well as by Baghdad.

the Iraqis are convinced that Turkey is involved in smuggling oil

While officially Baghdad is now considering whether there is enough evidence of Turkey’s involvement in oil trade with IS to file a formal protest at the UN Security Council, an Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman, Naseer Nuri, told Sputnik on Wednesday that “general information about the smuggling of Iraqi oil by trucks to certain countries, including Turkey” is already available to them, and “this oil is used to fund Daesh.”

Other Iraqi officials have openly accused Turkey of knowingly trading with the terrorists.

There is “no shadow of a doubt” that Ankara knows about the oil smuggling operations, Iraqi MP and former national security adviser Mowaffak al Rubaie told RT.

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    When you quote RT you can just as well quote press releases from the Russian government.
    – Philipp
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 18:54
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    Do you think the interview with the Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman is fake or what's wrong with it? I don't find it helpful rejecting RT because its Russian. Many things they report regarding the Middle East are also being reported in Arabic media, with no connection to the Russian government. However, I am interested in statements from the Russian government as well as from the US government or any other.
    – Noor
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 20:59
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    this would be a better answer if it contained less of your opinion of what should happen and more facts about how international law and treaties could be applied. Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 18:28
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    @SoylentGray there's actually no author's opinion in his post. He is citing media. International law is rather clear: any invasion is an act of aggression (war) that provides grounds for the use of force in self defense. Unfortunately, Iraq currently has no reliable allies. Iran sees Iraq as a US proxy, and Iraq's only other ally is it's conqueror - US.
    – MishaP
    Commented Jul 28, 2021 at 13:16
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    "The commander of the voluntary forces in Iraq stated that they will attack Turkish soldiers if they do not withdraw." Didn't seem to have happened in the subsequent 7 years, unless you count a rocket attack or two: politics.stackexchange.com/questions/75354/… Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 10:18

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