Ankara is making every effort to be part of the countries that take part to the recapture of Mosul. President Recep Tayip Erdogan said that Ankara will be present both at the negotiations’ table and the field of battle. While Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yildirim said that “the air forces of Turkey participated in the coalition operations in Mosul”, refraining however from discussing in more detail the extent of the participation.
However, Yildirim added that Iraqi soldiers trained by Turkish officers in northern Iraq at the Bashiqa camp, “are in the front line in the Mosul operation”.
“Those who say that “Turkey has no business in Mosul” got their answer”, Yildirim said in his speech to the parliamentary group of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
However, Ankara seems to be discussing with the US the possibility of a joint operation in Syria against the jihadists. This has been revealed by Erdogan himself, who said that “there are discussions with the US on the possibility of conducting a joint operation in order to expel the jihadists from Raqqa”. He said that the goal of Turkey is to create a security zone in Syria that would cover an area of 5000 square meters.
Within this framework, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is going to visit Ankara. Carter will arrive in the Turkish capital on Friday.
Turkish media report that a refugee wave has began from the residents of Mosul and the Turkish authorities have already begun preparations to host them.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has issued a travel advisory and recommends Turkish citizens not to visit Iraq./IBNA