Over 1,000 Turkish Troops in ‘Secret Battle’ Against ISIS in Iraq

Kurdish Officials Claim Secret Iraq Deal to Allow Troops In

While the Iraqi government has made a huge deal out of the deployments of a few dozen Turkish military trainers into Kurdish territory in northern Iraq, Kurdish officials are insisting that Iraq and Turkey have a secret deal on a much larger deployment.

According to Kurdish Gen. Bahram Yasin, Turkey has over 1,000 ground troops in Iraq, backed by M60T Sabras tanks. The deployment is centered around the Nineveh Province, not far from the ISIS-held city of Mosul.

The Turkish forces are said to intermittently shell ISIS in the area around Mosul, and have their own base to the city’s northeast. The Kurdish Peshmerga insist they have no contact with the Turkish forces here, unlike the smaller group of trainers Iraq so loudly objected to.

This revelation suggests Turkey is much more directly involved in the ISIS war than they’re previously admitted, and also that the Abadi government in Iraq has been secretly accepting more foreign ground troops despite a number of top Iraqi political figures loudly objecting to that.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.