07:45 GMT22 October 2020
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    Ankara will not abandon its "brothers Turkmens in Tal Afar" in Iraq if their well-being is jeopardized, the Turkish foreign minister said.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) — Ankara would take appropriate measures if life or well-being of Turkmens living in the Iraqi city of Tal Afar is in jeopardy, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday.

    "We have always stood against sectarian strife in Syria and Iraq. This is a very dangerous situation, but the lessons have not been learned. We see that the Shiite militia is trying to get in Mosul. But Daesh should be fought by local forces. The ethnic balance in Mosul and Tal Afar should be carefully considered. If our brothers Turkmens in Tal Afar are in danger, we will not abandon them and will not stay indifferent," Cavusoglu said at a press conference in Ankara.

    On Tuesday, the Shiite militia expressed their intention to capture the city of Tal Afar, which is situated 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Mosul, and prevent the escape of Daesh militants to Syria.

    On October 17, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced the start of a military operation to recapture Mosul from Daesh, outlawed in Russia, with the help of airstrikes by the US-led international coalition. According to local media, about 30,000 Iraqi soldiers and 4,000 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are taking part in the operation.


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    Mevlut Cavusoglu, Tal Afar, Iraq, Turkey
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