Despite a protest of the Iraqi government, Turkish military continues to participate in liberation of the Iraqi city of Mosul from terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) group.
A Kurdish attack on the city of Bashiqa, located 12 kilometers from Mosul, was supported by Turkish artillery, the BBC news agency reported. However, according to the agency, the participation of Turkish artillery in the battle for Bashiqa has not yet been confirmed by Kurds or Iraqi authorities. At the same time, Kurds have announced that the city was taken, but they are not sure that all terrorists were driven out from there.
On Sunday, Iraqi military reported about opening of two additional fronts in the north-east of Mosul together with Kurds (the Kurdish Peshmerga Forces), as well as about liberation of Bashiqa city from terrorists.
Meanwhile, the Peshmerga have announced that the Kurdish forces would no longer take part in the military operation on liberation of Mosul as commanded by President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, a Peshmerga commander told a Rudaw reporter. At the same time, the Kurdish Peshmerga Forces also noted that they would not move further than Bashiqa.
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The Iraqi government is concerned by bulldozers, digging trenches and delineating the boundaries of the region of Kurdistan because Baghdad sees these moves as a start of the separatism of Kurds from the Iraqi state.
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that in case of a security threat for Turkey, Ankara does not rule out a possibility of a ground operation in Iraq.
“This will happen in the same way as in the case of Syria, where Turkey’s patience over the threat of the Daesh (the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group) has run out,” Cavusoglu noted.
Earlier, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also told about the readiness of Turkey “to take action” in Iraq. According to Yildirim, the reason of such a decision is the fact that Ankara is not satisfied with Iraqi and American promises that Kurdish and Shiite militias will not take part in the battle for Mosul.
In addition, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Mosul is a Turkish city, from which Turkish people were once driven away. The statement was made during an opening ceremony for an educational institution in Bursa on October 23.
The Iraqi government is categorically opposed participation of Turkish military in the liberation of Mosul. The Iraqi Army and the Kurdish Peshmerga Forces launched an operation to liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul from IS terrorists on October 17. The Air Force of the US-led coalition supports Iraqi and Kurdish units in Iraq.