Inside Story

Why does the battle for Mosul matter to Turkey?

Turkey appears determined to join the offensive against ISIL but Iraq says Turkish troops will breach sovereignty.

Iraq calls it an invasion, while Turkey says it’s insurance. Both are arguing over Turkish troops in Iraq.

The Iraqi army, along with Kurdish, Sunni Arab and Shia Muslim troops, began the fight to recapture Mosul on Monday. Iraqi commanders say they have already inflicted heavy losses of life and equipment on ISIL.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears determined to join the battle – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is against it.

Erdogan says Iraq cannot push ISIL out of Mosul without Turkish military help. Abadi says he won’t allow Turkish forces to take part.

Erdogan says Turkish troops are already in Iraq and will stay until Mosul is liberated.

Is Turkey complicating the battle plans? And what are Turkey’s main objectives in Iraq?

Presenter: Martine Dennis


Mustafa Akyol: writer, International New York Times.

Maria Fantappie: senior Iraq analyst, International Crisis Group.

Robert Pape: professor, University of Chicago.