After the Mosul operation is launched in this morning, Turkish authorities started to make their first statements. While President Erdoğan stated that Turkey will be involved both in the operation and negotiations, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said that Turkey has Plan B and C for Mosul.
Mosul operation, in which Iraqi army, Shia militia, Peshmerga forces
and Sunni forces trained by Turkish forces in Bashiqa involved, is
launched this morning. US-led coalition forces provide air support to
Along with 300,000 Iraqi soldiers, Shia militia and Peshemerga forces, Turkey-backed 1500 local Sunnite forces and 600 US soldiers advising the Iraqi army are the parties of the operation.
The purpose of the operation is to retake Mosul from ISIS after 2 years.
According to BBC, “Iraqi security sources tell that Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are advancing on Qaraqosh and Bartila, in the Hamdaniya district east of Mosul. They have so far managed to regain control of five nearby villages - Kabirli, Basakhrah, Badanah Uliya, Badanah Sufla and Shaqouli."
UN warned the conflicting parties against a possible humanitarian crisis in Mosul, where 1,5 million civilians live.
"Nobody should expect us to leave Bashiqa"
Pointing out that Turkish borders are faced with danger, President Erdoğan talked about Bashiqa crisis: "Nobody should expect us to leave Bashiqa. We will be involved both in the operation and negotiations.”
Here are the highlights of Erdoğan's statement:
“We are not responsible for the consequences of an operation that excludes us. We will be involved both in the operation and negotiations. For us, it is impossible to stay out of this operation.”
“They say Turkey shouldn't enter Mosul. How is it possible? We have 350 km borders with Iraq and we are faced with threats coming from that border. They say we should leave Bashiqa. Nobody should expect us to leave Bashiqa. We carried out all kinds of operations against ISIS and we will continue to do so.”
“The reason why we are excluded from the Mosul operation is that they know that we would prevent sectarian conflicts there. We cannot allow a Sunni-Shia conflict. Iraqi army consists of Shia. When they will arrive at Mosul, they will fight against Sunni forces.”
“We have Plan B and C”
Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş also talked about the operation during the press meeting that he held after the cabinet meeting.
“We have Plan B and C, but we won't talk about them openly. Turkey has close contacts with northern Iraqi government. The forces trained by Turkey cooperate with Peshmerga. We are considering the danger of leaving Mosul to the hands of another organization.”
“Our undersecretary is on his way to Baghdad”
“The operation continues in accordance with Turkey's attitude. We will discuss this issue in Baghdad as well. Our undersecretary to the ministry of foreign affairs is on his way to Baghdad.”
“Aleppo is a key city”
“Aleppo is one of the key cities for ending the crisis in the region. The aid convoys going to Aleppo should be protected. We might form an international aid convoy for transferring the humanitarian aid to Aleppo as soon as possible.”
“The Mosul operation should not be turned into a sectarian conflict. The resolution is to govern the locals after ISIS is evacuated.”
“Turkey will be affected”
“If things go wrong in Mosul, forcing people to leave the city, ISIS fighters would come and threaten Turkey. We are faced with serious problems. Turkey is a country that might be affected by flux of migration and terrorism.”