Does Turkey want parts of Iraq and Syria?

Published October 18th, 2016 - 07:33 GMT
Peshmerga fighters sit together in the shade. (Al Bawaba/ Adam Lucente)
Peshmerga fighters sit together in the shade. (Al Bawaba/ Adam Lucente)

The Turkish military is in Iraq’s Nineveh province, which includes Mosul, to help its Sunni militia allies as they participate in Iraqi-army led operations to retake Daesh (ISIS)’s biggest city. Turkey also entered Syrian territory in September via Jarablus, and helped allied rebel groups take the town from Daesh. But does Turkey have territorial ambitions in Iraq and Syria?

On Monday, Radio Sawa’s Washington correspondent Zaid Benjamin tweeted a headline from a Turkish Islamist paper which listed Aleppo, Erbil, Kirkuk, Mosul and other cities as part of Turkish territory.

"Turkish Islamist paper publishes a map of Turkey including Kirkuk, Mosul, Erbil, Aleppo, Hasakah and parts of Bulgaria."

As Benjamin pointed out, Kurdistan 24 reported that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan referred to a document this week that claimed Mosul belongs to Turkey.

This doesn’t indicate Turkey is about to invade the city, but clearly Mosul and other regional cities are on Erdogan and his government’s mind.

Many Iraqis have criticized Turkey’s presence in the country. Others, such as some Peshmerga (military of Iraqi Kurdistan) soldiers, believe Turkey has noble intentions of fighting Daesh.



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