London- Ankara has warned of sectarian consequences from Mosul operation, objecting to involvement of Shi’ite militias.
Shi’ite militias having a role in an operation to drive ISIS out of the Iraqi city will not bring peace, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a news conference on Friday, adding that Turkish-trained forces should be involved.
Cavusoglu said that the inclusion of Shi’ite groups in a possible operation to retake Mosul from ISIS could fan sectarian divisions and “will not bring peace to Mosul. On the contrary, it will increase problems.”
“The forces we have trained at the Bashiqa camp are Mosul’s own people. The participation of these forces is important to the operation’s success,” added Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim expressed astonishment, saying that Baghdad’s remarks on the Bashiqa camp were “dangerous and provocative”. He added, “Our troops are carrying out very useful work in Iraq.
Baghdad previously accused Turkey of supporting ISIS and providing the group with weapons.
The Arab League, from its part, supported Iraq’s demands that Turkey respects the country’s sovereignty, especially after Ankara announced setting up a new camp for the army north the country.
Some Iraqi officials stressed the importance of Turkey’s withdrawal from any military operations on the Iraqi territories. Iraq, on the other side, was asked by human rights organizations to control the participation of militias in the liberation operations of provinces and cities.
In a related matter, The Times newspaper cited sources from north Aleppo saying that an increasing number of Iraqis fled from Mosul and crossed over 300 miles to escape ISIS-ruled regions.