Turkey May Help in Mosul Instead of Iraqi Kurdistan Oil

Turkey May Help in Mosul Instead of Iraqi Kurdistan Oil
Mon Mar 2, 2015 16:24:15

Turkey said Monday it has clinched deals to explore for oil in Iraqi Kurdistan and may take part in an international military operation to retake Mosul from the ISIS.

Meanwhile Turkey will continue to assess whether or not to take part in an international military operation to retake Mosul from the ISIS, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz said on March 2.

Turkey is part of the collation against ISIL and “has started to make concrete contribution,” Yılmaz told reporters, amid speculation about the planned operation to force the terrorists out of Mosul.

"Turkey was “ready to fulfill its responsibilities if others do so too,”"

“We’ll carry out the evaluation for further contribution in due course, based on our national interests. Ultimately we’ll fulfill our responsibility as a coalition member,” he added.

Citing recent remarks by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, İsmet Yılmaz said Turkey was “ready to fulfill its responsibilities if others do so too,” adding that he would be traveling to Iraq on March 4 to visit both Baghdad and Arbil.

The exiled governor of Mosul, Atheel al-Nujaifi, claimed on March 1 that Ankara will take part in the offensive aiming to retake Mosul from ISIL. 

Speaking to Iraqi Kurdish online news website Rudaw, al-Nujaifi said Turkey had agreed to send weapons and supplies to recapture Mosul, which has been under the control of ISIL since June 2014.

A Turkish source told daily Hürriyet that Turkey will not send land troops to the operation that a U.S. official said could start as early as April. However, the source added that sending “logistical and ammunition support” is possible.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Yılmaz also touched on the recent deal to train and equip what ewst call |moderate Syrian opposition fighters" in Turkey, stating that Ankara and Washington will establish a commission to decide who to train.

Turkish Energy Minister Yildiz

But in the field of oil, "We own blocs in the foothills of the Qandil mountains as part of contracts we concluded with Baghdad and northern Iraq," Energy Minister Taner Yildiz was quoted as saying by the state-run Anatolia news agency.

Turkey, which is dependent on Russia and Iran for its growing energy needs, is seeking alternative sources of affordable oil and gas, and has increasingly seen Kurdistan as the best option.

Turkey's leaders have developed burgeoning links with Iraqi Kurds in recent years.

Baghdad took legal action last year when Ankara revealed it was helping Iraqi Kurds to export oil independently to international markets via Turkey.

Ankara's new move to prospect for oil in northern Iraq's Hindirin and Coman fields could also make waves in Baghdad despite the contracts and an agreement between Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdish region over the budget and oil exports.

The minister's announcement comes after the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, called on the rebel group on Saturday to hold a congress on disarmament, in a historic appeal to end Turkey's long-running Kurdish insurgency.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has welcomed Ocalan's call as "very important" but cautioned that earlier calls made by the Kurdish rebels had failed.

A handout picture released by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on March 2, 2015 shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (2R) performing a prayer at Medina's Masjid al-Nabawi, or the Prophet's Mosque, in Saudi Arabia. Erdogan is due to visit the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina ahead of talks with Saudi officials. AFP PHOTO

The PKK, blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the international community, took up arms in 1984 with the aim of creating an independent Kurdish state, but has since scaled back its demands to greater autonomy for Kurds.

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