Iraqi PM says Turkish troops will not be allowed to take part in Mosul operation

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A handout picture released on July 9, 2016 by the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office shows him (C) posing for a picture with army generals and members of the counter-terrorism forces in the capital Baghdad. / AFP PHOTO / IRAQI PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE /

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi vowed on Saturday not to allow Turkish troops to take part in an operation seeking to retake Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“Neither Turkish nor any foreign forces will be allowed to take part in the planning or ground operations relating to the retaking of Mosul, only Iraqi forces will do so, “Al-Abadi said in a televised speech.

The role of the coalition forces will be confined to provision of training and logistic support as well as armament and air support, he explained.

Turkish troops in Iraq have been a contentious issue for some time, but a recent parliamentary motion that gives the Turkish government a mandate for cross-border operations in Syria and Iraq for another year sparked a backlash from Baghdad.

The Iraqi parliament decided on Oct. 4 to remove the Turkish troops, by force if needed, and described the Turkish units as an “invading force.”The decision then prompted mutual recriminations between the two countries and the summoning of ambassadors.

Iraqi Prime Minister al-Abadi warned Turkey that it may cause a regional war by maintaining a military presence in Iraq and called for an immediate withdrawal.

 

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