Conflict between Turkey and Iraq Escalates: Appeal for U.N Emergency Talks

Haider al-Abadi Iraq's prime minister proposed scrapping the vice presidency in August 2015 as part of a series of measures aimed at assuaging popular anger

Iraq's next parliamentary elections are due in 2018 but some lawmakers are calling for them to be held next year, after a planned offensive to try to dislodge Islamic State from Mosul, the last important city under the militants' control in Iraq. An operation is expected in the coming weeks.

Turkey previous year sent several hundred soldiers - since reinforced - and mechanized vehicles including tanks to the Yazidi town of Bashiqa, a few kilometers north of Mosul.

Erdogan said his country would continue doing "as much as necessary in Mosul" to end the reign of ISIS and will not remain "as a mere spectator" in the events in Iraq.

The Kurdish peshmerga fighters, who have formed an effective temporary alliance with the PMU, have their own designs upon the region, with officials saying that territory taken from IS will form a part of the future Kurdish state, an outcome that is unwelcome in Baghdad, and particularly Ankara, which has repeatedly labeled them as terrorists.

Iraq condemned the vote, and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned Turkey risked triggering a regional war.

"This could lead to a security threat in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq and the wider region in general". We will never accept this.

None of the maneuvering is helping US officials to keep the political parts in place for the assault on Mosul. "We don't need permission for this, and we don't plan on getting it". Turkey sees any involvement by the Iran-influenced militias as boosting Tehran's clout in northern Iraq, a red line as far as Ankara and Saudi Arabia are concerned.

Tensions between Turkey and Iraq have been on the rise over the presence of Turkish troops at the Bashiqa camp in northern Iraq, which Baghdad sees as "hostile occupying forces".

"The only hope for the people of Mosul is Turkey", he added. In an interview earlier this month with Rotana TV, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, "I want to make it clear that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Western coalition will not allow sectarian domination (of Mosul)".

The country's Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds remain deeply divided on a host of issues, and the blocs representing them are widely seen as corrupt and dysfunctional - a toxic mix that contributed to the resurgence of IS, a Sunni extremist group, almost three years ago.



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