Turkish officials said last week that between 150 and 300 soldiers and 20 tanks were deployed to protect Turkish military trainers at the Bashiqa camp near Mosul, training the peshmerga forces battling the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.
In a phone call on Dec. 18, Obama asked Erdoğan to take steps "to de-escalate tensions with Iraq, including by continuing to withdraw Turkish military forces."
He also reinforced the need for Turkey "to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq."
Turkey began partially withdrawing troops from the area on Dec. 14. In its statement late on Dec. 19, the Foreign Ministry said there had been a "lack of communication" with Baghdad on the matter and that Ankara "would continue to coordinate with the Iraqi government over its military contribution to the country in the fight against Daesh (IS)".