Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says Iraq's government cannot deal with a prospective Mosul assault alone, adding Turkey will not let Islamic State or any other organization control the strategic city. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Iraq could not deal alone with driving Islamic State from the city of Mosul and that the presence of Turkish forces in a nearby military camp was an insurance against attacks on Turkey. Turkey has been locked in an escalating row with Iraq's central government over the presence of Turkish troops at the Bashiqa camp in northern Iraq, and over who should take part in the planned U.S.-backed assault on Mosul. "We won't let Mosul be given to Daesh [Islamic State] or any other terrorist organisation. They say Iraq's central government needs to approve this, but the Iraqi central government should first deal with their own problems. Why did you let Daesh enter Iraq, why did you let Daesh enter Mosul? They were almost going to come to Baghdad," he said in a speech at a ceremony in the Black Sea town of Rize. Turkey fears that Shi'ite militias, which the Iraqi army has relied on in the past, will be used in the planned Mosul offensive, expected to start this month, stoking sectarian unrest and triggering an exodus of refugees. Turkish soldiers have been training Sunni Muslim and allied Kurdish peshmerga units at the Bashiqa camp, which is near Mosul, and want them involved in the assault. Baghdad objects to the Turkish military presence there. The United States has said any foreign forces in Iraq should have the approval of the Iraqi government.