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Turkey-Iraq squabbles threaten Mosul campaign

The dispute between Turkey and Iraq over the presence of Turkish troops near Mosul is threatening to derail the impending offensive to free the city from the Islamic State.
Iraqi soldiers fire a rocket toward Islamic State militants on the outskirts of the Makhmour south of Mosul, Iraq, March 25, 2016.  REUTERS/Azad Lashkaril/File Photo - RTSIUAB

Escalating tensions between Turkey and Iraq are threatening to further disrupt the long-awaited campaign against the Islamic State in Mosul, as Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned of “regional conflict” over the continued presence of Turkish troops in Northern Iraq.

Turkey’s parliament voted Oct. 1 to extend the mandate of thousands of Turkish troops inside Iraq and Syria, sparking an outcry in Baghdad. “We have asked the Turkish side more than once not to intervene in Iraqi matters and I fear the Turkish adventure could turn into a regional war,” Abadi told Iraqi state television.

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