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Turkish-Iranian rivalry heats up over Mosul

Turkey’s increasing focus on Iraq’s Sinjar region is linked to a broader rivalry with Iran for influence over Mosul.
Iraqis, one with a national flag, stand in front of a banner bearing a portrait of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a demonstration to demand the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from the Bashiqa camp, located in the Mosul province, on October 8, 2016 outside the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad.
Turkey said on October 6, 2016 that its troops will remain in Iraq despite Baghdad's growing anger ahead of a planned operation to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic State group jihadists. Turkey ha
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Turkey’s quest for a military campaign to drive Kurdish militants out of the northern Iraqi region of Sinjar has refueled the Turkish-Iranian rivalry for influence in oil-rich Mosul, which many Turks see as a lost Ottoman legacy.

Earlier this week, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying that Tehran “reject[s] the Turkish military presence in Syria and Iraq and consider[s] Ankara's policies toward Damascus and Baghdad to be wrong.” In remarks to a Turkish news agency, an unnamed Iranian Foreign Ministry official denied Zarif had made the remarks, yet the rift between the two countries is showing on the ground. 

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