Are Turkey-Iraq tensions on the rise pre-Mosul?

Published October 10th, 2016 - 02:44 GMT
A group of Turkish soldiers in formation (AFP/File)
A group of Turkish soldiers in formation (AFP/File)

In early October, Turkey approved plans to continue its mandate to conduct military operations in northern Iraq, but not everyone is happy about it. Turkey says they are there to train allied forces and fight Daesh (ISIS), but multiple Iraqis of varying levels of prominence have criticized the presence this week.

Yesterday, Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi said only Iraqis would take part in the upcoming battle with Daesh in Mosul. “The existence of any foreign forces on Iraqi soil is a breach of sovereignty, and the insistence of Turkish leaders on keeping their troops in Iraq is very odd,” he said, according to The New Arab.

Then on Saturday, an Iraqi MP in Nineveh demanded trials for anybody collaborating with Turkish forces in Iraq. The Iraqi Christian news site ankawa.com reported the claims made by Joseph Salwa.

And there’s more. On Saturday, Kurdistan 24’s Baxtiyar Goran reported that a member of Iraq’s mostly militias said “We will deal with Turkish troops in the same way we are treating Daesh.” The quote was reportedly by Jawad al-Tilbawi.

The New Arab reports that Turkey has about 2,000 troops in Iraq, citing Turkish media.

Whatever role Turkey has in the upcoming Mosul operation, if any, it’s clear not all Iraqis will be happy about it.

AL

 

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