After the deployment began, Turkey's Defence Minister Fikri Isik said that "Turkey should be prepared for all eventualities," and referred to "important developments in our region."
"On the one hand there is a serious fight against terror within Turkey’s borders, and on the other there are important developments just across our border," Isik said.
With support from the US-led coalition, the Shiite-dominated Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, the Iraqi army is preparing for an assault on Mosul, which has been under the control of the Daesh terror group since 2014.
Ankara has argued against the involvement of the Shiite militia in the operation to free Mosul, but its concerns and desire for Turkish military involvement have been rebuffed by the government in Baghdad.
Celalettin Yavuz of Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party told Sputnik Turkiye that security concerns have prompted the Turkish government to deploy its army to the Iraqi border, in spite of Baghdad's objections.
"The deployment of Turkish troops to the Iraqi border started with the operation to liberate Mosul and the surrounding area from Daesh fighters. The Iraqi government is against the deployment of Turkish armed forces near Iraqi territory. However, Baghdad isn't in a position to control all Iraqi territory, where there is terrorism activity threatening Turkey."
"In order to guarantee the security of its own territory, Turkey has been forced to deploy an armed contingent to the Turkish-Iraqi border. Turkey isn't trying to split up Iraq, it is just looking after its own security," Yavuz said.
"The Shiite group Hashdi Shabi, supported by Iran, is trying to establish control over areas inhabited by Turkmen. Of course, this is not Daesh, but Hashdi Shabi militants are quite radical. For example, it is known that they tortured Sunnis in areas liberated from Daesh," Yavuz said.
"Ankara is worried by their bellicose statement about Mosul. It seems that they want to take revenge not against Daesh militants, but against the entire Sunni population of the region. In these circumstances, Turkey has to stand up for the Turkmen."
"It is also known Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants are trying to capture the area of Sinjar, north-west of Mosul, and set up camp there. Turkey can't allow that to happen," Yavuz said.