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Turkey sends military aid to Baghdad to help in fight against Islmaic State in Iraq and the Levant.

| 2015
Defence & Security News - Turkey
Turkey sends military aid to Baghdad to help in fight against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant
Two planes carrying military aid to Iraq have landed in Baghdad, the Turkish state Anadolu news agency reported on Tuesday. The delivery of military aid comes amid reports that Turkey is planning to participate in an anticipated large-scale operation against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to retake Mosul.
Turkey sends military aid to Baghdad to help in fight against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant 640 001Turkish Air Force's C-130 military transport aircraft
The two C-130 military cargo planes landed at al-Muthanna military airbase, Anadolu said. The aid materials were handed to Iraqi Defense Ministry representatives by the Turkish ambassador in Baghdad, Faruk Kaymakci.

In a statement, the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad said Turkey will continue to support Iraq in its efforts to fight terrorism, both within the anti-ISIL international coalition and as part of its bilateral relations with Iraq.

Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz left the door ajar on Monday for Turkey's participation in an operation to retake Mosul, which is expected to be conducted by Iraqi forces, Kurdish peshmerga and Shiite militia and backed by international coalition air support.

Turkey is a member of the coalition,” he said. “As such, Turkey has begun to actively contribute to the coalition. … When the time comes, Turkey will make an assessment that takes into account our national interests and fulfills our responsibilities of coalition membership.

Kaymakci told Anadolu that Yilmaz will travel to Iraq on Wednesday for a two-day visit. He will have talks in Baghdad on the first day of his visit and then travel to Arbil in the Kurdish-run northern Iraq for talks with Kurdish officials. “Security cooperation between the two countries and the fight against terrorism will be discussed in detail,” Kaymakci said.

ISIL fighters seized Mosul last June as they swept through northern Iraq toward Baghdad, meeting virtually no resistance from the army and establishing a self-declared caliphate straddling the border between Iraq and Syria.

The US and its allies have waged months of air strikes against ISIL targets, and Washington is training and equipping the Iraqi military to recapture lost territory. The battle for Mosul is expected to be pivotal in that struggle.

A US Central Command official said last week that an Iraqi and Kurdish military force of 20,000 to 25,000 troops is being prepared to recapture the city, probably in April or May.


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