Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Erdogan Restates Turkey’s Right to Combat Threats in Syria, Iraq

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan warned Iraqi authority, especially Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on “knowing his limits,” after having criticized Turkey’s military presence in Iraq.


NATO member Turkey shares a 1,200 km border with Syria and Iraq and faces threats from ISIS armed extremists in both. But it is concerned that international efforts to destroy radicals will leave new dangers in their wake.


The Turkish army, its senior ranks purged following a failed military attempt to overthrow Erdogan in July, launched an incursion into Syria in August to push back ISIS and prevent U.S.-backed Kurdish militia fighters from seizing territory. Ankara is wary of Washington’s support for what it sees as a hostile Syrian Kurdish force.


Erdogan suggested Turkey could take a similar attitude in Iraq, where expectations are growing of an assault to drive ISIS out of the northern city of Mosul.


“We will approach the operation in Iraq, the operation that will be in Mosul soon, with the same attitude,” Erdogan told a meeting of Islamic leaders in Istanbul in televised comments.


“Turkey cannot intervene against the threats right next to it? We will never accept this … We don’t need permission for this, and we don’t plan on getting it.”


Turkey’s parliament voted two weeks ago to extend the deployment of an estimated 2,000 troops across northern Iraq by a year to combat “terrorist organizations” – a wording broad enough to refer to Kurdish militants as well as ISIS.


Iraq condemned the vote, and Abadi warned Turkey risked triggering a regional war. His government has requested an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the issue, and both countries have summoned each other’s ambassadors in a mounting diplomatic stand-off.


“The Iraqi prime minister is insulting me, first know your limits,” Erdogan said.


“Iraq had certain requests from us regarding Bashiqa, and now they are telling us to leave. But the Turkish army has not lost so much standing as to take orders from you.”



Erdogan Restates Turkey’s Right to Combat Threats in Syria, Iraq

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