What a mess. Who will Canada side with on the looming battle to oust ISIS from Mosul? Will it be Iraq? Mosul, after all, is Iraqi. Or will it be our NATO ally, Turkey? What if Iraq and Turkey get into a shooting war just in case the war against ISIS isn't already murky enough? Here's the skinny from Foreign Policy:
Just weeks before Iraqi troops are to begin their push to retake the Islamic State-held city of Mosul, an unexpected wrinkle has appeared: Turkey wants in on the fight, and refuses to pull its troops out of Iraq despite Iraqi threats that Ankara’s refusal could lead to war.
Responding to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s call last week for Turkey to pull its 2,000 troops and two dozen tanks out of their base near Mosul, President Tayyip Recep Erdogan shot back Tuesday that Abadi should “know his limits” since “the Turkish army has not lost so much standing as to take orders from you.”
Turkey is concerned that once ISIS is pushed out of Mosul, the Shiite-led government in Baghdad will make it difficult for Sunni residents of the city to return, while Kurds will dominate the surrounding areas. (Kurdish forces have grabbed control over the contested city of Kirkuk thanks to the onslaught of the Islamic State.) Ankara is leery of Kurdish fighters, even though it maintains cordial relations with Iraqi Kurdistan, given its decades-long battle with Kurdish terrorist group PKK.
Another reason the Turks feel the need to stay is to continue training Sunni tribal fighters to take on both ISIS and after that, likely, Iranian-backed Shiite militias. The idea is to find fighters other than Kurdish peshmerga to take the war to terrorists and other militants; too much Kurdish success, especially in northern Syria, has worried Ankara.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim immediately shot back at Abadi, vowing to stay “no matter what Baghdad says.”
Turkey wants to make sure that as the Islamic State is rolled back, Kurdish forces don’t fill up the vacuum. It launched an operation in August to push Kurdish fighters to the east bank of the Euphrates in northern Syria.
If the Turks are really after laying the groundwork for another Sunni/Shiite, Arab/Kurd shitstorm what in hell is Canada doing in that ethnic/sectarian nut house? You get dragged into this, who do you support and who do you fight. Better yet, how do you get out when this goes south?