Iraqi State President Jelal Talabani, in statements made to the Russian press, used strong words in referring to Turkey and Russia. Speaking with the Russian Komersant newspaper, Talabani asserted that Russia was not following a realistic policy in its request that US forces pull out of Iraq. Said Talabani, "If US soldiers pull out of Iraq tomorrow, who will prevent Turkey from entering Northern Iraq under the auspices of protecting local Turkmens? And who will prevent Syria?"
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