Turkey joins offensive to retake Mosul from IS

Ankara, Oct 18 (IANS) Turkey joined airstrikes by the US-led coalition during the operation to retake Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) militant group, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the Justice and Development Party’s parliamentary group meeting here, Yildirim said: “Our air forces have also participated in airstrikes in Mosul.”

He stated that Turkey would do “everything necessary” against all kinds of threats and did not need permission from others, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Prime Minister also warned that Ankara would respond if developments in Mosul lead to negative consequences against Turkey.

Turkish Pesident Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the International Law Congress on Monday that Ankara will take part in operations and it will be coming to the diplomatic table in the aftermath.

Erdogan stressed that Turkey has a 350-km border with Iraq, and therefore, the country cannot be expected to remain impartial to developments right across the border.

He also warned against the danger of sectarian clashes if Ankara’s concerns are not taken into consideration.

Ankara has been locked in a row with Baghdad about the presence of its troops at the Bashiqa camp in northern Iraq and over who should take part in the US-backed assault on Mosul.

–IANS

py/vt

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