Middle East, News

Turkey delivers military aid to Iraq in fight against ISIS

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Turkey’s ambassador to Baghdad, Faruk Kaymakçı, said: “Turkey will continue to stand with the Iraqi government within the scope of the international coalition against Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ISIS] and we will contribute for the stability, security and prosperity of Iraq.”

Two planes carrying Turkish military aid to Iraq have landed in Baghdad. According to an Anadolu Agency correspondent, two C-130-type military planes landed at Muthenna Air Base on Tuesday.

Turkey’s ambassador to Baghdad, Faruk Kaymakçı, said: “Turkey will continue to stand with the Iraqi government within the scope of the international coalition against Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ISIS] and we will contribute for the stability, security and prosperity of Iraq.”

Iraq has been gripped by a security vacuum since June 2014 when the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militants stormed Iraq’s second-largest city Mosul and declared a self-styled caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.

The United States and Iraq are preparing to retake Mosul from ISIS group by this summer, according to various reports.

A group of Kurdish fighters and other Western-trained forces should be ready to launch the offensive by the spring or summer, the head of the US military’s Central Command General Lloyd Austin had told the Wall Street Journal in January.

Turkey’s National Defense Minister İsmet Yilmaz answered reporters’ questions in Ankara on Monday regarding the fight against the ISIS militant group.

Asked if Turkey would send land troops to assist an operation to retake Mosul from ISIS militants, Yılmaz said that when the time comes, Turkey would make the necessary assessments along with the national interests and fulfill its responsibilities that come with being a member of the coalition led against the group. He said that Turkey has been already providing “concrete” support to the coalition.

The exiled governor of Mosul, Atheel al-Nujaifi, claimed on March 1 that Turkey will take part in the offensive. Speaking to Iraqi Kurdish online news website Rudaw, al-Nujaifi said that Turkey has agreed to send weapons and supplies to recapture Mosul, which has been under the control of the ISIS group since June.

Turkish National Minister Yılmaz also said that he would pay an official visit to Iraq on Wednesday along with Foreign Ministry and Turkish Armed Forces officials. The defense minister is expected to meet Iraqi defense and interior figures. Turkish representatives will also visit Erbil in Iraq’s north.

Resource: Daily Sabah, March 4, 2015

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