Saturday, October 15, 2016

Bashiqa base in northern Iraq will stay: Turkey would not allow Mosul to be taken by ISIS

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Oct. 15 that Turkey's presence in the Bashiqa military base in northern Iraq will remain, amid the ongoing row with Baghdad, which has demanded the immediate withdrawal of the Turkish military from the camp.

"No one should talk about our Bashiqa base. It will stay there. Because, Bashiqa is also an insurance against terror attacks targeting Turkey," Erdoğan said on Oct. 15 in the Black Sea province of Rize.

The president also said that Turkey would not allow Mosul to be taken by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or another terror organization.

"We won't let Mosul be given to Daesh (ISIL) or any other terrorist organization. They say Iraq's central government needs to approve this but the Iraqi central government should first deal with their own problems," Erdoğan said.

He criticized Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's government, asking "where was the Iraqi government" when ISIL entered Mosul.

"Why did you let Daesh enter Iraq, why did you let Daesh enter Mosul? They were almost going to come to Baghdad, where are you, the central government of Iraq?" he added.

Erdoğan also noted that Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters were advancing toward ISIL-held Dabiq village.

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