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Abadi warns Turkey: Don’t enter Iraq or you will pay the price

By Rudaw 1/11/2016
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi. Photo: Iraqi media
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi. Photo: Iraqi media

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned Turkish forces not to enter Iraq or it will “pay a heavy price.”


“We do not want to fight Turkey. We do not want a confrontation with Turkey. God forbid, even if we engage in war with them, the Turks will pay a heavy price. They will be damaged. Yes, we too will be damaged, but whenever a country fights a neighboring country, there will be no winner, both will end up losing," said Abadi.


"We warn Turkey if they want to enter Iraq, they will end up becoming fragmented,” Abadi warned, deriding Turkey as “not a country to able to fight outside their borders. Yes it happened 40 to 50 years ago in Cyprus, but Iraq is not Cyprus. Iraq is unified.”


Speaking to a group of journalists in Baghdad on Tuesday, Abadi explained that the situation between Baghdad and Ankara is calm, as of now, but “we have made our preparations in advance. We are still afraid of any objectionable step that might be taken. We hope it does not reach that point. “


He went to say, “We are not afraid of Turkey, but the aftermath of the emergence of a new war. We do not want that. We want reduction of the problems, not escalation.”


“Turkey and its forces will be damaged and we warn them again, if their troops enter Iraq we will fight them and we will look at them and treat them as the enemy,” he reiterated.


Asked by journalists about Turkey’s insistence that the multitude of foreign forces in Iraq is justification for Turkish forces to also be present, Abadi pointed out a key difference between the role of the international forces currently in Iraq and the role Turkey wants to play.


“The Turks claim that there are many countries present in Iraq. True. These countries have come upon our call and they do not fight on the ground. But rather, they have sent their military personnel and advisors to train our forces. They have come to supply us with logistical needs and arms.”


He also explained that although a global counter-ISIS coalition has been formed to fight ISIS from the air, the Iraqi air force carries out must of the airstrikes itself.


“The Iraqi jets provide most of the aerial support for us and for some strategic hits. We will need coalition warplanes because the military warfare they own – we do not have them.”


Turkish military began deploying tanks and military equipment to the Silopi area near the Iraqi border as the battle to reclaim Mosul from ISIS is ongoing some 100 kilometres from the border.


Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık said on Tuesday that the movement of military vehicles to Turkey’s border with Iraq is part of Turkey's counterterrorism operations, so his country can be ready for all possibilities.


"There are important developments in our region. On one hand, Turkey is in a very serious fight against terror but there are other important developments on the other side of our borders. Turkey must be ready for all possibilities, these are part of these preparations," Işık said.


Işık said that Ankara has not severed diplomatic ties with Baghdad, but if Turkey's red lines are crossed it will do what is necessary.


In his speech, Abadi touched on the recent “giant” advances being made by Iraqi forces against ISIS in Mosul and its outskirts.


“The advance of our forces directly into Mosul is ongoing and they have liberated Gogjali and the Mosul TV building.”


He also stressed that, “up to now, no human rights violations in war zone areas have been committed by Iraqi forces against civilians,” pointing out that there has been good coordination between the army and the civilians.


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NoWinnersIndeed | 1/11/2016
Turkish people are not enemies of Iraqi people, may they be Arab, Kurdish, Turkmen or any other ethnic group. The idiotic governments, their manipulations to rule over nations by eroding humanitarian sensitivities and focusing on divisive, abrasive politics should not dictate the fate of these nations. All nations in Middle East shall understand that the REAL ENEMY is corruption, lack of good education, violence and economic failures. We can cooperate and come over these. I don't like Abadi but he is right: There are no winners when neighboring countries fight.
Guest | 1/11/2016
I applaud the Prime Minister for his speech. Iraq is a sovereign nation and other nations have to respect that. One thing he didn't say, and didn't need to, the international community is very aware of this, is that Turkey is the only country with troops in Iraq that is not there at the current invitation of the Iraqi government. Maybe they were invited there but have been asked to leave and have not. Any of the other other nations currently in Iraq would leave if asked by the PM Abadi to do so, even a reluctant Iran.
Truthful | 1/11/2016
What is this Iraqi Halloween clown and US puppet saying? :-) Had the Imperialist stooge Arabs have any backbone the likes of Iraq, Egypt, Jordan etch would have never become the doormat of the West to begin with! The Turks will go in if the PKK Terrorists are in Iraq PERIOD
Cyprus | 2/11/2016
If Erdogan think that Iraq is another Cyprus think again. Also Iran will be involved. So turkey will start a hugh war before they know it. Iraq has a large army experience in warfare.. Turk only fights all scale guerilla war, they might shit themselves like Iraqi army did early in the fight with Isis..
Luigi Palermo | 2/11/2016
Destroy Turkey, it sponsors the Islamist State of Mosul and Raqqa.Erdogan is behind Albaghdadi,and Obama is behind Erdogan.Both are jihadist Sunnis and are responsible for.all the crimes commited by Albaghdadi.

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