Iraqi PM Says Turkey Won’t Take Part in Mosul Operation under Any Circumstances
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi has rejected any role for Turkish forces in the upcoming offensive on a Daesh (ISIL) stronghold of Mosul, as tensions between supposed coalition partners escalate. Iraq says the Turks are violating its sovereignty.
“Turkish forces will not be allowed to participate in the liberation of Mosul under any circumstances,” Abadi said during a visit to the city of Karbala on Sunday.
Abadi, who was addressing senior local officials, also condemned Ankara for “violating Iraq’s sovereignty” by maintaining an official deployment of 150 troops in Bashiqa, a training base outside Mosul, as well as a staff of “military advisors” likely numbering in the thousands.
Earlier this month the PM, who was elected two years ago, implied that Ankara’s refusal to remove its contingent – which is ostensibly there to protect Turkish instructors training anti-Daesh (ISIL) terrorists – and its recent parliamentary vote to extend its military mandate in Iraq and Syria, could lead to “an armed confrontation,” RT reported.
Political squabbles over the spoils of Mosul, which was taken over by Daesh in June 2014, have taken precedence over military tactics in the climax of the battle that has been going on since spring. These have focused on who will enter the city, which once housed 2.5 million people, how the Nineveh region the city is in will be divided, the status of the Kurds, and the division of the oil revenues.
“I want to make it clear that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Western coalition will not allow sectarian domination [of Mosul]. But there is a major question, who will then control the city? Of course, Sunni Arabs, Sunni Turkmen and Sunni Kurds,” Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan said in an interview earlier this month.