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The New Arab

Erdogan: Either Turkey fights in Mosul or plan B

Erdogan was speaking in front of a large crowd of supporters in Konya [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 14 October, 2016

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The president of Turkey repeated his determination to take part in Iraq's battle of Mosul and said he would opt for a 'plan B' if this wasn't possible.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he was determined Turkey would take part in the coming Mosul offensive in Iraq, but would opt for an unspecified "plan B" if this wasn't possible.

Addressing a crowd of thousands in Konya on Friday, Erdogan kept up his recent rhetoric against his southern neighbour.

"We are determined to take our place among the coalition forces in Iraq for Iraq's unity. If the coalition forces do not want Turkey, we will engage a plan B," he said, but failed to specify what his 'plan B' was.

Turkey and Iraq have been unable to agree about Turkey's potential involvement in the Mosul offensive, as Iraq does not want a Turkish presence and Turkey has voiced anger over Iraq's alliance with the Kurdish movement, PKK.

"You invited us to Camp Bashiqa [last December] and now you're telling us to leave," Erdogan said.

"Sorry (but) my compatriots are there. My Turkmen brothers are there, my Arab brothers are there, my Kurdish brothers are there.

"They say, 'come', they say, 'please help us'."

Turkey currently has around 2,000 troops positioned in Iraq, of which, 500 of them are located in the Bashiqa camp, north of Mosul. Turkish military officials have also spoken in strong terms about their participation in the offensive, in spite of objections from Iraq.

There are currently armies from 16 different countries who are preparing for battle in Mosul. There are a large number of foreign aircraft in the region as well.

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