Najaf senior cleric raps Turkish stance on Iraq
Najaf prominent religious cleric, Hojjatol Islam Val Moslemin Qabanchi slammed Turkish policy in extending the mandate of its troops in Iraq and the continued presence of Turkish forces on Iraqi soil without Baghdad’s permission, reported Taqrib News Agency (TNA).
The religious cleric underscored, Turkey was after “putting some hurdles in the path of liberation of Nineveh Governorate and the city of Mosul, through such measures and stance.”
According to Hojjatol Islam Qabanchi, Turkey seeks to maintain an estimated two thousand troops in northern Iraq, claiming the move is aimed at battling terror groups.
Ankara sent the troops northeast of Mosul last year in a move condemned by Iraq as a “blatant violation” of its sovereignty.
Baghdad has, time and again, called on Ankara to pull out the forces, while specifically warning against the Turkish troops’ involvement in the upcoming battle for the liberation of the Iraqi city.
For months, Iraq has been preparing for the assault on Daesh in Mosul, which slipped into the hands of the terrorists in 2014.
The operation for Mosul is highly significant as estimates say about half of the city’s pre-war population of two million still remains there.
Daesh, based on intelligence information, has reportedly between 4,000 and 5,000 terrorists in the city, making the situation more complicated.