Tehran will fight Turkey’s role in Mosul operation

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The involvement of Turkish special operations, armored and artillery forces in support of the Kurdish Peshmerga battle to drive ISIS out of Bashiqa, 12 south of Mosul, marks a pivotal moment in the US-led coalition’s anti-ISIS offensive to free Iraq’s second city. The entire Mosul operation hangs in the balance since Turkey stepped into the fighting in Iraq, at the initiative of the US. Instead of fighting ISIS, the coalition’s partners are squaring off to fight each other.

debkafile’s military sources report that Turkey was allowed to gatecrash the fighting around Mosul after US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter visited the KRG capital of Irbil Sunday, Oct. 23. He urged Kurdish leaders to bow to President Tayyip Erdogan’s demands for a role in the battle. Continue reading

Iraq: Yazidi Rescue Mission ‘Far Less Likely’

A humanitarian mission to rescue thousands of Yazidis trapped in Iraq is “far less likely” to take place after an assessment carried out by a US team.

US Army Special Forces soldiers and a US Agency for International Development (USAID) team spent several hours on the mountain speaking to refugees on Wednesday.

They have since returned to Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region, and reported fewer Yazidis remain trapped on the mountain than previously feared.

Some 5,000 refugees remain stranded on Mount Sinjar, according to Sky sources. Continue reading