ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey is determined to take part in a planned operation by coalition forces against Islamic State in the Iraqi city of Mosul and will implement a “plan B” if it is not involved, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.
In a speech in the city of Konya that was broadcast live, Erdogan said Turkey would make its desire to take part in the coalition operation known to its international partners in the coming days. He did not offer details on what an alternative strategy would entail.
Turkey has been locked in a fierce row with Iraq over who should take part in the U.S.-backed assault on Mosul, which is expected to begin this month. Turkey fears the use of Shi‘ite militias, which the Iraqi army has relied on in the past, will stoke sectarian unrest and a wave of refugees. It also opposes a role by the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
Reporting by Daren Butler; Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Ayla Jean Yackley