Türkİye, World, Middle East

People of Mosul not to be left to their fates: Erdogan

Hinting at the upcoming military operation in Iraq's Mosul, Turkish president says 'people of Mosul should live in Mosul'

People of Mosul not to be left to their fates: Erdogan

By Zehra Aydin and Yildiz Aktas


Turkey will not leave the people of Iraq’s Mosul city to their fates, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday.

In his keynote speech to mark the beginning of the academic year at the Recep Tayyip Erdogan University in northern Turkey's Rize province, Erdogan referred to the upcoming military campaign to retake the Daesh-held city of Mosul.

He said the “people of Mosul should live in Mosul."

About the cooperation between the U.S. and the PYD, the terrorist PKK group's Syrian affiliate, Erdogan criticized the U.S. for cooperating with a terrorist group instead of its NATO ally Turkey in the fight against Daesh.

"Here there are the PKK's trash, the PYD, the YPG. These [groups] are trash. Someone backs them," he said.

"They establish military bases in the south of Kobani. You should consult us first and then take a step with us, not with a terrorist group like the PYD. That is the trash of PKK. You should admit this as this way," he said.

He pointed out that 63 countries were supporting the U.S. in the fight against Daesh terrorist group, adding it was impossible for these 63 countries to be defeated against 10,000 to 15,000 Daesh terrorists.

"Where is NATO? We are together in NATO. The PYD is not your ally in NATO, neither YPG is. We are your ally," Erdogan said.

"If the criteria to be an ally is to be against Daesh, then be an ally of Al-Nusra [militant group]. Al-Nusra is also fighting against Daesh," he said.

In mid-2014, Daesh captured the northern city of Mosul and overran vast swathes of territory in northern and western Iraq.

Recent months have seen the Iraqi army, backed by a 60-nation air coalition led by the U.S., retake much territory. Nevertheless, the terrorist group remains in control of several parts of the country, including Mosul.

In recent weeks, the army and its allies have staged a gradual advance on the city, which officials in Baghdad have vowed to "liberate" by year’s end.

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