09:16 GMT24 February 2020
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    Turkey is determined to participate in the operation to free Iraq’s city of Mosul from Islamic State (IS) militants, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared Monday.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) The Shiite-dominated Iraqi government launched an offensive early on Monday to liberate Mosul, the nation’s second biggest city with a diverse population and a large Sunni Muslim presence.

    "They say Turkey must stay out of Mosul. How could we possibly not enter? We have a 350-kiometer [217-mile] common border and that’s where the threat comes from … There are our brothers in Mosul – Arabs, Turkmens, Kurds," Erdogan said at a congress in Istanbul.

    Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus confirmed that Ankara was considering several action plans.

    "It is vital to get rid of Daesh. Turkey has already explained to all parties concerned how it was going to get involved. We have Plans A, B, and C," Kurtulmus said.

    He added it was equally important to avoid ethnic and religious strife in the city. The Iraqi army is cooperating with Kurdish Peshmerga forces and Sunni tribal militias. Baghdad promised earlier that only Iraqi forces would enter Mosul.

    Related:

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    Operation to Liberate Islamic State-Held Iraqi City of Mosul May Take Weeks
    Kurdish Militia and Iraqi Army Start Large-Scale Operation on Mosul
    Tags:
    Numan Kurtulmus, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, Mosul
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