Erdogan: Iraq unable to liberate Mosul on its own

Turkey has been locked in a fierce row with Iraq’s central government over the presence of Turkish troops at the Bashiqa camp

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday Iraq could not deal alone with driving ISIS from the city of Mosul.

Erdogan also defended the presence of Turkish forces in a nearby military camp as an insurance against attacks on Turkey.

Turkey has been locked in a fierce row with Iraq’s central government over the presence of Turkish troops at the Bashiqa camp in northern Iraq, and over who should take part in the planned US-backed assault on Mosul.

Speaking at a ceremony in the Black Sea town of Rize, Erdogan said Turkey would not allow ISIS or any other organization to control Mosul. He also said Turkish-backed rebels in neighboring Syria were advancing on the ISIS-held village of Dabiq in the country’s northwest.

Around 60,000-strong force made of Iraqi and Kurdish peshmerga forces are now finalizing plans to attack ISIS’s last stronghold in Iraq’s Mosul, London-based The Guardian reported on Friday.

As the assault to liberate Mosul looms, ISIS claimed a suicide bombing that targeted a Shiite Muslim gathering in Baghdad, killing at least 31 people and wounding more than 50 on Saturday.

(With Reuters)

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