small hillary blooper

Turkish PM slams Clinton for comments on arming Syrian Kurds
Reuters, Oct 11 2016

ANKARA – A proposal by Hillary Clinton to arm Kurds fighting Daesh in Syria is “unethical” and not befitting a NATO ally, Turkish PM Yildirim said on Tuesday. Clinton said at a debate on Sunday she would consider giving equipment to Pindo-backed Kurdish militias (the YPG, belonging to PYD – RB), despite concerns from “some circles” that consider the main Syrian Kurdish militia “terrorists.” Yildirim also told party members in parliament that Turkey could take action east of the Euphrates in Syria if it sees “terrorist activities” there. Turkish forces entered north Syria in August to push Islamic State from its border and to curb territorial gains by Syrian Kurds.

and here’s Erdogan in general:

Turkey has right to combat threats in Syria and Iraq: Erdogan
Reuters, Oct 11 2016

Erdogan warned Iraq’s prime minister he should “know his limits” after he criticized Turkey’s military presence there and said the Turkish army had not lost so much standing as to take orders from him. Turkey faces threats from Daesh, but it is concerned that international efforts to destroy Daesh (and/or Nusra – RB) will leave new dangers in their wake. The Turkish army launched an incursion into Syria in August to push back Daesh and prevent Pindo-backed Kurdish militias from seizing territory. Ankara is wary of Washington’s support for what it sees as a hostile Syrian Kurdish force. Erdogan suggested Turkey could take a similar attitude in Iraq, where expectations are growing of an assault to drive Daesh out of Mosul. Erdogan told a meeting of Islamic leaders in Istanbul in televised comments:

We will approach the operation in Iraq, the operation that will be in Mosul soon, with the same attitude. Turkey cannot intervene against the threats right next to it? We will never accept this … We don’t need permission for this, and we don’t plan on getting it.

The main point of contention is the presence of Turkish troops in Iraq, mainly at the Bashiqa camp in the north of the country, training Sunni and Kurdish Peshmerga units which Turkey wants to take part in the battle for Mosul. However, the Shi’ite-led government in Baghdad is keen that its forces be in the forefront of the offensive on the city, the largest under Daesh control. Pindostan said on Tuesday any foreign forces in Iraq should be there with the approval of the Baghdad government and under the umbrella of the Pindo-led coalition fighting Daesh. Adm (retd) Kirby told a daily State Dept press briefing:

The Turkish forces that are deployed in Iraq are not there as part of the international coalition, and the situation in Bashiqa is a matter for the governments of Iraq and Turkey to resolve.

Turkey’s parliament voted two weeks ago to extend the deployment of an estimated 2,000 troops across northern Iraq by a year to combat “terrorist organizations.” Iraq condemned the vote, and PM Abadi warned that Turkey risked triggering a regional war. His government has requested an emergency UNSC meeting to discuss the issue, and both countries have summoned each other’s ambassadors in a mounting diplomatic stand-off. Erdogan said:

The Iraqi prime minister is insulting me! First know your limits! Iraq had certain requests from us regarding Bashiqa, and now they are telling us to leave! But the Turkish army has not lost so much standing as to take orders from you!

Turkey argues that involving Shi’ite militias in a drive to expel Islamic State from Mosul will not bring peace. Turkish PM Yildirim told AKP members at a meeting in parliament:

If you try to change the demographic structure in Mosul, you will ignite the fire for a major sectarian war.

FM Cavusoglu said Turkey could play the same role in the Mosul offensive or any campaign to take Raqqa, the Daesh stronghold in Syria, as it did with its August incursion into Syria, when it sent in tanks and fighter jets in support of Nusra fighting Daesh. Cavusoglu said in an interview on Turkey’s A-Haber television:

Turkey can give the support it gave Jarablus to Raqqa or Mosul as well. Turkey is ready for any kind of support to cleanse Syria and Iraq of Daesh.

Pindostan tries to defuse Iraq-Turkey war of words over Mosul
AFP, Oct 11 2016

FASCHINGSTEIN – As Turkey and Iraq traded insults over the Turkish troop presence outside Mosul on Tuesday, Pindostan urged its vassals to resolve the spat before a major offensive on the city. Iraq is preparing to fight to liberate Mosul from Daesh with support from Pindostan and a broad though sometimes fractious coalition of international vassals. Recent preparations for the looming offensive have been overshadowed by tensions between Erdogan and Abadi, who has repeatedly urged Turkey to withdraw troops deployed near Mosul in the autonomous Kurdish region. The Kurdish forces that control the area are not under Abadi’s command, but they are expected (by Pindostan – RB) to play a key role in the upcoming battle. Erdogan has refused to withdraw his troops, insisting that Turkey has a role to play in liberating Mosul from the Jihadis, and with tempers rising, both sides have resorted to insults. In Faschinstein, State Dept spox Adm (retd) Kirby said the operation would be led by Iraq, and that it was a matter for Baghdad which forces should be deployed on its sovereign territory. He said:

The Turkish forces that are deployed in Iraq are not there as part of the international coalition, and the situation in Bashiqa is a matter for the governments of Iraq and Turkey to resolve.

Ankara maintains an estimated 2,000 troops in Iraq, around 500 of them in the Bashiqa camp training Kurdish fighters whom Turkish media say will join the battle to recapture Mosul. Kirby added later, in a statement released as Ankara and Baghdad traded barbs:

It is imperative for all parties to coordinate closely over the coming days and weeks to ensure unity of effort.

Abadi’s latest gibe was scripted to get under Erdogan’s skin, mocking a desperate video call he made to a TV station in July to prove he was still alive during the coup attempt. Abadi’s official Twitter account said:

We will liberate our land through the determination of our men and not by video calls.

Earlier, Erdogan had sneered at Abadi’s call for him to withdraw his force back to Turkey, saying:

It’s not important at all how you shout from Iraq! You should know that we will do what we want to do! Who’s that? The Iraqi prime minister? First you know your place!

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