Turkey Deploying More Tanks, Troops Near Syrian Iraqi Border
Turkey began deploying tanks and other armored vehicles to the Sirnak Province's Silopi district, which is near the border with Syria and Iraq.
Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik on Tuesday said the decision to reinforce troops near the border was made taking into account Turkey's conflict with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, rebel group, as well as Iraq's ongoing offensive to capture the city of Mosul away from Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, IS and Daesh) control.
The Turkish and Iraqi government have been at odds since December over Turkey's deployment of troops to Iraq, which Turkey said is necessary to create a 3,000-square-mile safe zone along its borders but Iraq said is a violation because it was done without Baghdad's permission or knowledge.
Iraq and the United States, which leads an international anti-Islamic State coalition, have warned Turkey not to become involved in the Mosul offensive. Iraqi officials have accused Turkey of attempting to take advantage of a power vacuum after the ISIS is defeated in the city.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also given recent speeches in which he discusses Turkey's historical claims to Mosul.
Source: Al Alam