Turkey has invaded Iraq with an armored regiment

Turkey has invaded Iraq with an armored regiment

Ankara, December 7, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

Davutoglu speaks of a “routine action”

Bagdad demands from Ankara to withdraw immediately from its territory

By Manolis Kostidis

The Turkish armed forces have invaded northern Iraq on Friday night. 600 soldiers and 25 tanks have been deployed in an area near Mosul, in what Ankara describes as a move to fight the jihadists.

Ahmet Davutoglu at first spoke of “a routine activity by Turkey, aimed at training men of the Iraqi army”.

Indeed, Ankara had sent about 50 soldiers in the area, who were training the Iraqis. But the development of such a strong force, and according to the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet with a view of sending 1400 more men, has caused a strong reaction in Baghdad as there is fear that Turkey has come to stay.

Iraq speaks of a violation of International Law

Without formal notification, the Turkish force developed near Mosul in northern Iraq, a city under the control of the Islamic State. The President of Iraq Fuad Masum called this action a violation of International Law and called on Ankara to immediately withdrawal its forces, the foreign ministry of Iraq announced.

But the Turkish government seems to have gotten the “green light” from the US who were pushing for some time for a more forceful action against the Islamic State.

The crossing of forces and the details reportedly have been agreed during the two meetings between Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Barack Obama. Indeed the passage of the Turkish forces was facilitated by the forces of the Pesmerga, the Kurds of northern Iraq Masud Barzani, who did not resist the presence of the Turkish forces. Washington was clear in its wishes that Turkey should take part in the impending attack on Mosul, and for this reason Ankara is creating a permanent military base in the region.

Ahmet Davutoglu spoke of a routine training mission and stressed that “this camp was created as a training area for a local volunteer force fighting terrorism”.

Mosul has been in the hands of the Islamic State since June 2014 and is one of the richest areas in oil wells.

Experienced analysts estimate that the large military presence of Turkey in Iraq might possibly be related with the downing of the russian warplane by turkish fighterjets. The US has long been demanding from Erdogan that Turkey takes significant part in the air raids against the Islamic State. After the tension that arose with Moscow however, Turkey has put on hold any air actions to avoid a hot episode, thus opting to send an armored regiment to satisfy Washington.

Ankara has denied the charges made by Iran regarding the involvement of Turkey in smuggling oil from the jihadists in Syria and Iraq. There is nothing “serious” in those accusations, the spokesman of the foreign ministry of Turkey, Tanju Bilgiç, writes in a statement.

Russian sailor targeted Istanbul with a rocket causing the wrath of the foreign ministry of Turkey

Tensions has risen once again between Moscow and Ankara after the action of a Russian sailor, who holding on his shoulder an antiaircraft rocket launcher ascended the turret of the warship Caesar Kurnikov during the passage of the ship through the straits of Bosphorus on Saturday afternoon. The Turks claim that he was “provocatively” targeting Constantinople.

The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuloğlu stressed that this action “is definitely a provocation” and said that “if we perceive a threatening situation for our country, we will respond”.