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Turkey Eager to Participate in Mosul Offensive for 'Own Political Interests'

© REUTERS / StringerIraqi security forces gather in Qayara, south of Mosul, to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 18, 2016
Iraqi security forces gather in Qayara, south of Mosul, to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 18, 2016 - Sputnik International
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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday Turkey would play a role in the US-backed Iraqi offensive to retake the city of Mosul from jihadists, saying it was "unthinkable for Ankara to stay on the sidelines." Turkish political commentator Metehan Demir told Sputnik Turkiye why Ankara is so persistent over its participation.

Iraqi security forces advance in Qayara, south of Mosul, to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 18, 2016 - Sputnik International
Who is Taking Part in the Mosul Offensive, and What Comes After Daesh is Gone
"We will be in the operation and we will be at the table," Erdogan said in a televised address on Monday.

"Our brothers are there and our relatives are there. It is out of the question that we are not involved."

Commenting on Erdogan's statement, Turkish political commentator Metehan Demir told Sputnik Turkiye that Ankara is so eager to take part in the operation simply because it is pursuing its own political interests.

"Each military move and armed clash have a political purpose. And Turkey self-evidently insists on its participation due to its political interests," the expert told Sputnik.

"Taking into account Mosul's energy resources and its strategic location as well as its place in Turkish history it becomes clear why Ankara is so persistent on taking its position in the lineup of forces in Iraq," he added.

A Turkish soldier gestures while standing on the hill overlooking damaged buildings following heavy fighting between government troops and Kurdish fighters in the Kurdish town of Cizre in southeastern Turkey, which lies near the border with Syria and Iraq, on March 2, 2016 - Sputnik International
Turkey 'On Sidelines' of Mosul Operation, But 'Hopefully Will Get Involved'
The political analyst however noted that the international and regional powers including the Central Government of Iraq have been postponing the operation on retaking of Mosul out of their own interests.

"The same very army which is now leading the offensive on Mosul was running away from Daesh militants without any resistance back in June 2014," he said.

He further added that for two years the Iraqi government has been indifferent towards Daesh atrocities, and has only now decided to launch an assault to liberate the city.

The expert explained that there is a new balance of power, and that the major players are pursuing their own interests under the pretext of either religious or ethnic motives.

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