Iraqi PM responds to Erdogan: We are determined to liberate our land

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. File photo

ARA News 

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan that Iraq will liberate Mosul through action, not by video calls, responding to comments by the Turkish President.

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

“Iraq [made] 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 [al-Abadi],” Erdogan continued.

“We are not your enemy and we will liberate our land through the determination of our men and not by video calls,” al-Abadi said on Tuesday in response. 

Iraq’s government and parliament previously called on the Turkish military to leave Iraq. Some analysts worry that the tensions between Turkey and the Iraq could delay the operation to retake Mosul, which is planned for this month.

“If Turkey was simply concerned about fighting ISIS, this would be less of a problem. But this is an effort to set [up] a zone of influence,” said Kirk Sowell, a political risk analyst based in Amman, Jordan. Turkey sees Mosul as a traditional zone of influence, blaming the British for losing it in 1926.

“[Turkey’s deployment] could increase the chance of direct conflict between Baghdad forces and Turkey-backed Sunni forces, or even Turkish forces directly,” Sowell added.

Hisham Al-Alawi, Iraq’s Ambassador to Turkey, said after a meeting with the Turkish foreign ministry on Monday, that he had emphasized the need to use direct diplomatic engagements and dialogue “to reach our goals.”

Al-Alawi continued, “My meeting with the team at Iraq desk, [Ministry of Foreign Ministry] in Ankara, made me feel optimistic about our ability to reduce tension and resolve existing problems.”

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News 

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