Turks and Kurds, best friends forever?
Posted by Charles II on December 6, 2015
The war in Syria is now beyond parody. Reuters:
Iraq summons Turkish ambassador to demand withdrawal of troops
Iraq’s foreign ministry has summoned the Turkish ambassador to demand that Turkey immediately withdraw hundreds of troops deployed to northern Iraq, near the Islamic State controlled city of Mosul.
The ministry said on Saturday that the Turkish forces had entered Iraqi territory without the knowledge of the central government in Baghdad, and that Iraq considered such presence “a hostile act”.
…Turkish forces had set up a camp near Mosul…
A senior Kurdish military officer based north of Mosul said additional Turkish trainers had arrived at a camp in the area overnight on Thursday, escorted by a Turkish protection force.
A small number of Turkish trainers was already at the camp to train the Hashid Watani [national mobilisation], a force made up of mainly Sunni Arab Iraqi former police and volunteers from Mosul.
The Kurds say that Turkish forces are there to train them, the peshmerga. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Turks are planning to stay.
And in the NYT, we get this. Tim Arango:
The heads of powerful Iranian-backed militias have said they are willing to fight any new American troops in Iraq, as they did during the long American occupation after 2003.
Rather than the United States’ and Iran’s becoming partners in the fight against the Islamic State, Iran’s presence in Iraq is seen as a constraint on the American military’s role there.
Kirk H. Sowell, an analyst based in Amman, Jordan, and editor of the newsletter Inside Iraqi Politics, wrote in an email, “The sending of ground forces to Iraq in any appreciable numbers would almost certainly open a new front in the war, with U.S. troops fighting Shia militias instead of Islamic State.”
Who’s on first?
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