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Ankara cannot be excluded from the operation launched to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Oct. 17, stressing that Turkey continues to be under threat from that region. “What do they say? Turkey shouldn’t enter Mosul. Why can’t we enter? We have a 350-kilometer border [with Iraq].

Others who have nothing to do with the region enter it. We will not be responsible for the negative consequences that would emerge from any operation that doesn’t include Turkey. We will be involved both in the operation and at the [negotiating] table afterward. It is not possible for us to stay excluded,” Erdoğan said. He also vowed that the presence of Turkish troops in the Bashiqa camp near Mosul would remain. “No one should expect us to leave Bashiqa,” Erdoğan said, vowing to launch “all kinds of operations” against ISIL.

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