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Turkey Does Not Mind Participation of Turkmen in Tal Afar Liberation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqi Shiite Turkmen families fleeing the violence in the Iraqi city of Tal Afar, west of Mosul arrive at Shangal, a town in Nineveh province. June 17, 2014. Reuters

Baghdad- As leaders from the Popular Mobilization Forces call on the Iraqi government to counter what it calls “conspiracies to keep PMF out of the liberation of Tal Afar,” Sheikh Mohammed Taqi al-Mawla, a Turkman Shi’ite deputy from Tal Afar said their claims were baseless.

“If they meant Turkey, the United States or Britain, then there is no base for their claims,” Mawla told Asharq Al-Awsat. He considered that there is no coordination among PMF leaders as each one gives statements independently.

Mawla, who is a member of the National Coalition and a former head of the senior body of Hajj and Umrah, revealed details on his meeting with Turkish ambassador to Baghdad. The latter told him that “Turkey supports liberating Tal Afar and has no problem in the entry of the Turkmen forces to the city.”

He said that the ambassador conveyed his country’s readiness to participate in reconstructing Tal Afar after expelling ISIS militants and the consent of the Iraqi government.

“Turkmen forces consist of Turkmen, Sunni, Shi’ite, Yazidis and Christian fighters. There is high coordination among us, and I will visit Erbil in the coming days to coordinate with the Sunni Turkmen brothers on the liberation of Tal Afar.”

He refused to set the date for the launching operation to liberate Tal Afar, saying that it is to be “decided by the General Command of the Armed Forces and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.”

Commander in the PMF Moueen al-Kathemi has pointed out in earlier statements that there is persistent conspiracy against national victories and an attempted theft of these victories from “our security forces and the popular mobilization by international and local bodies in addition to the Turkish interventions to hinder the liberation of Tal Afar.”

Observers in Baghdad pointed out that the PMF wants to participate in the liberation of Tal Afar, in an effort to “draw the attention and culminate its participation in the fight against ISIS after being deprived of the lights shed on the forces that liberated Mosul”.