What is Ankara’s strategic thinking about the battle for Mosul in Iraq, even as Turkey unleashes airstrikes on US-backed Kurds in Syria? One undeniable fact: Ankara feverishly wants to be in Mosul when the cards in Iraq are reshuffled.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, responding to Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s ultimatum that Turkish soldiers can’t enter Mosul, said Oct. 17, “How can you keep me out? I have a 350-kilometer [200-mile] border there. Those who have nothing to do with the place are entering Mosul. Why? Because Baghdad is supposed to have invited them. … We will be there for the operation and at the table.”