Queen's Policy Engagement

Turf War: Iraq and Turkey go head-to-head over Mosul

Article first appeared on the Brookings Blog where Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards looks at the twin issues of territory and sovereignty with reference to the ongoing battle over Mosul.

Turf War: Iraq and Turkey go head-to-head over Mosul

As the battle for Mosul has commenced, so too has a major turf war between Turkey and the Shi’a-led government of Haider Al-Abadi in Baghdad. A day after the Mosul offensive against ISIS commenced, thousands marched in protest on the Turkish embassy in Baghdad and called for their troops to be removed from this important part of northern Iraq. This is because territory and sovereignty still matter to the political dispensation in the Middle East.

The clash centers on Iraqi concerns after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the government of Al-Abadi for its pre-invasion planning strategy which attempted to include the insertion of the mainly Shi’a Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) militia into battle planning. Turkey says Prime minister Al-Abadi should not turn Mosul into a new sectarian fault line pitching Sunni and Shi’a against each other which could also leave the door open for the insertion of Shi’a Iranian interests in northern Iraq as well.

Read more.


The feature image in this article has been used thanks to a Creative Commons licence.

Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards
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Beverley Milton-Edwards is a Professor of Politics at the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen's University where she specialises in research and teaching on violence, terrorism and security, as well as the Politics of the Middle East and Political Islam. Professor Milton-Edwards has worked as a Special Advisor to a number of high-level governmental representatives, including the EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, and the EU’s Middle East Peace Envoy. She is currently a Visiting Fellow at Brookings Doha Center.

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