The Turkish military has started to train Iraqi Sunni fighters in different Iraqi bases to retake Mosul from Daesh, according to Asil Nujaifi, the governor of Mosul.
Nujaifi stated on Sunday that Turkish military experts came to several Iraqi military camps and started to provide military training.
Last week, the Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq announced that at least 16,000 Iraqi troops have been trained over the past four months to retake Mosul from Daesh.
The governor reiterated Iraq's demands for weapons from Turkey, saying, “We demanded Turkey send weapons to our troops through Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled Al-Obeidi. We also expressed our military equipment demand to Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz during his official visit in Iraq.”
Expressing his criticisms regarding the central Iraqi government’s upcoming operation to retake Mosul, Nujaifi said, “The central Iraqi government in Baghdad has not given any assistance to our fighters so far. The central government has been acting very negligently on this issue. The new weapons and equipment were given to the central Iraqi government’s troops.”
The governor stressed that he could not give a specific date for the operation yet.
He also said that the Iraqi government had come to an agreement with the Turkish government regarding the training of militia troops.
Iraqi security forces backed by Shiite militias launched a ground offensive against Daesh on March 2 to recapture Tikrit city, aiming to approach the Daesh stronghold of Mosul.
Tikrit, a Sunni-majority city, is the birthplace of the deceased Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
Clashes between Iraqi forces and Daesh have been ongoing since June 2014 when the armed group seized Mosul and other territories in Iraq.
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