Just a day after the Pentagon claimed Turkey and Iraq had reached “an agreement in principle” for Turkish participation in the invasion of Mosul, Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder Abadi reiterated that Iraq neither needs nor wants Turkey’s help in the operation.
“If help is needed, we will ask for it from Turkey or from other regional countries,” Abadi noted, saying he was confident that Iraqi forces would be able to handle the battle for Mosul by themselves, or at the very least by themselves with substantial US and Kurdish involvement.
There’s been considerable tension between Iraq and Turkey over Turkey’s positioning of ground troops in their country, and it’s been increasing recently with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announcing his intention to participate militarily in the Mosul attack. US officials have tried to keep both sides calmed down, but neither seems willing to budge on the matter.
Erdogan has argued Turkey has an historic interest in the fate of Mosul, citing Turkey’s historical territorial claims on the city. Turkey lost Mosul in the 1920s, when the League of Nations awarded it to Britain after World War 1. Turkey did not recognize this decision, however.