By Daren Butler and Ahmed Rasheed ISTANBUL/BAGHDAD (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan declared on Friday he would not bow to Iraqi demands he withdraw Turkish troops from a camp close to the Islamic State-held city of Mosul, and Baghdad said it would ask the U.N. Security Council to order them to leave. A row over the deployment has soured relations between Ankara and Baghdad, which denies having agreed to it. Ankara says the troops were sent as part of an international mission to train and equip Iraqi forces to fight Islamic State. The latest comments indicated continuing tensions despite the Turkish prime minister's office saying agreement was reached in talks with Iraq to deepen security cooperation and "reorganize" military personnel at the Bashiqa camp. "There is no way we can withdraw our soldiers from northern Iraq now," Erdogan told a news conference. "There was a deployment, not for combat, but to protect soldiers providing training there." "We will continue the training process decisively," he said. Turkish military are helping to train local Iraqi volunteers and Kurdish peshmerga who are preparing for a long-anticipated offensive to retake Mosul - a major northern city seized by Islamic state over a year ago. In Baghdad, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi instructed his foreign ministry to lodge a formal complaint at the U.N. Security Council over the presence of the Turkish forces, asking it to order Turkey to withdraw its troops from Iraq immediately. Erdogan said in an interview with Al Jazeera that the complaint was not an "honest step". "They can resort to the U.N. Security Council, that is their natural right, but this is not an honest step and we believe that Iraq's actions are related to the latest developments in the region, that is, the steps taken by Russia and Iran. "I believe that the Security Council at the United Nations knows that this step is not honest and will issue its decision accordingly," he said. Earlier, Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, urged the government to show "no tolerance" for any infringement of the country's sovereignty. Sistani's spokesman, Sheikh Abdul Mehdi Karbala'i, did not explicitly name Turkey. Sistani also said Iraq's neighbors should not send any troops to Iraq "under the pretext of fighting terrorism", except with the approval of the Baghdad government. "The Iraqi government is responsible for protecting Iraq's sovereignty and must not tolerate any side that infringes upon on it, whatever the justifications and necessities," Karbalai'i said in a weekly sermon. SHOW RESTRAINT Sistani urged citizens to show restraint toward foreign residents of Iraq, after Shi'ite paramilitary groups threatened to use force against Turkey and target its interests to force it to pull out. In Ankara, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's office said in a statement that Turkey had decided in talks with Iraqi officials to "reorganize" its military personnel at the Bashiqa camp Turkey's Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu and National Intelligence Agency (MIT) head Hakan Fidan visited Baghdad on Thursday for talks with Abadi on the issue. "Taking into account the Iraqi government's sensitivity, the decision was taken to reorganize the military personnel in the protection force at the Bashiqa camp," Davutoglu's office said. It did not say what the troop reorganization would involve, but said agreement was reached to start work on creating mechanisms to deepen cooperation with the Iraqi government on security issues. Davutoglu said on Wednesday the soldiers were sent to northern Iraq after a threat from Islamic State militants to Turkish military trainers in the area increased. (Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz, Ercan Gurses and by Tom Finn in DOHA; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall, Ralph Boulton and Louise Ireland)
- Fox News
Police arrested an ex-con killer this week just over a mile from the house where four University of Idaho college students were killed in their sleep last month.
- NBC Sports BayArea
The 49ers passed on Tom Brady during the NFL free-agent signing period of 2020, and Brady continues to play like a quarterback in his prime with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- BuzzFeed News
The Gay Nephew Of The Lawmaker Who Cried While Voting Against Marriage Equality Has A Message For Her
Missouri Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler went viral for her teary (and unsuccessful) plea to stop the Respect for Marriage Act. Her gay nephew wants a word.View Entire Post ›
- Yahoo Sports
DEA agent who helped put Viktor Bout behind bars slams Brittney Griner swap: ‘We couldn’t even get two people for the world’s most notorious weapons trafficker’
Foreign policy experts warn the release of Viktor Bout could incentive future kidnappings of Americans.
- BuzzFeed News
Prince Harry Said The Royal Family Didn’t Think His Relationship With Meghan Markle Would Last Because She Was An Actor
“The fact that I was dating an American actress was probably what clouded their judgment more than anything else at the beginning.”View Entire Post ›
- The Telegraph
Prince Harry appeared annoyed with his wife at one point in their new Netflix documentary when she joked about having to curtsey to the late Queen.
Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner Ditched Their Usual PDA & Reportedly Acted 'Cold' Towards Each Other During Recent Public Outing
The holidays can be a stressful time for any family and Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner may have a bit of the blues right now. They attended a yacht party in Miami recently and the air around the normally affectionate couple was apparently a bit chilly. A Page Six source described them as “cold” around […]
Griner's lawyer previously told PEOPLE that the transfer to Mordovia's penal colony was "a very challenging period for her" and had the WNBA "very stressed" as she tried to adjust
- Women's Health
Brie Larson is super sculpted from her abs to her legs in an orange bikini in new Instagram pics taken in a sauna. Brie opts for unconventional workouts.
Watch the moment Brittney Griner was exchanged for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout on a UAE airport tarmac
Footage of Griner's return to American custody was released by Russian state news outlets after President Biden announced the swap Thursday morning.
The royal family is reportedly "breathing a sigh of relief that Harry & Meghan didn't have that many bombshells—go inside their reaction.
(Bloomberg) -- The day after Donald Trump effectively gave up his court fight over government documents seized by the FBI from his Mar-a-Lago home, his lawyers were in a Washington courthouse amid reports the Justice Department has asked for the former president to be held in contempt in connection with the records probe.Most Read from BloombergCeline Dion Brings Attention to Stiff Person Syndrome: Here’s What It IsPutin Says Russia May Add Nuclear First Strike to StrategyStocks Drift With Wall
- Lebron Wire
Warriors superstar Stephen Curry gave his all-time starting five - but it didn't include LeBron James.
- The Telegraph
Watching the opening segment of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s docuseries, I thought for a moment we were about to get Meghan and Harry's very own version of The Crown. As they began to hint at the pressures of being royal it seemed we were about to be taken through a kind of inside story, a no-holds-barred account of what it’s really like to be in The Firm. Something, at least, that lived up to the drama of the documentary’s controversial trailer. A few more minutes in I was less certain.
- Rolling Stone
The GOP is condemning the president for securing the release of the WNBA star while former Marine Paul Whelan remains imprisoned in Russia
- The Hill
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) on Friday slammed newly minted Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) following her decision to leave the Democratic Party, saying she is “putting her own interests” ahead of Arizona voters with the move. “Last month, the voters of Arizona made their voices heard loud and clear — they want leaders who put…
- Panthers Wire
Even though Baker Mayfield didn't work out in Carolina, Panthers fans were quite happy for the new Rams QB on Thursday night.
- LA Times
Brittney Griner's release from Russia in a high-profile prisoner exchange should be celebrated, not disparaged by reactions reeking of bias and bigotry.
Brittney Griner, the American basketball star imprisoned in Russia, was released on Thursday (Dec. 8) in a prisoner swap for Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer whose notoriety earned him the epithet “Merchant of Death.”
- The Telegraph
There were times during Brazil’s final game at this World Cup when Neymar wanted to do too much. As the match remained resolutely deadlocked into its second half, the Paris St-Germain forward dropped ever deeper, attempting to get on the ball, spin and force the issue for his team.