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Turkish army in northern Iraq: election campaign element or fight against terror?

14 June 2018 [11:12] - TODAY.AZ

By  Trend

Each country has the right to ensure the security of its borders, and, based on this principle, Turkey has previously conducted two military operations in Syria.

However, despite the success of the Euphrates Shield and the Olive Branch operations, the Turkish authorities have repeatedly stated that new military operations may be launched against the PKK terrorist organization in northern Iraq.

Earlier, Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara and Baghdad will begin a joint military operation in northern Iraq.

"A joint military operation in Northern Iraq will begin as soon as the parliamentary election in Iraq is over," Cavusoglu said.

Parliamentary elections were held in Iraq on 12 May 2018.

Yet, on June 11, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the beginning of a new military operation in northern Iraq. However, speaking immediately after the president, the Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli noted that, military operations in northern Iraq started in March of this year.

Canikli noted that, Turkey planned operations against the PKK in northern Iraq during the year.

Only a small part of the Turkish people does not support the government in the fight against terror, but despite this, there is an opinion that military operation in northern Iraq is organized as part of the election campaign of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

It is quite obvious that recent destruction of the terrorist military base in the Iraqi region of Kandil is a fundamental or, for that matter, victorious step in the fight against PKK.

However, despite successful continuation of military operations in northern Iraq, it is unlikely that the Turkish armed forces will be able to fully wrap up the military operation in northern Iraq within the next 12 days - that is how much remains until the presidential and parliamentary election in Turkey.

This shows that military operation in northern Iraq can not be attributed to the AKP’s election campaign.

However, the question arises why the Turkish armed forces did not wait for the results of the parliamentary election in Iraq and started the military operation in March?

The matter is that Ankara had extensive information on that the bloc of one of the spiritual leaders of the Muslims-Shiites, Muqtada al-Sadr, whose attitude to the policy conducted by Turkey is very negative, can win in the parliamentary election in Iraq.

In the past, Muqtada al-Sadr has repeatedly stated that Turkey is hostile towards Iraq.

Based on this, it can be assumed that Turkey decided not to wait for the outcome of the parliamentary election, and start the military operation as soon as possible.


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