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Tags: ML | Iraq | The Latest

The Latest: Iraqi Shiites Demand Turkish Pullout from Mosul

The Latest: Iraqi Shiites Demand Turkish Pullout from Mosul

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 05:54 AM

KHAZER, Iraq (AP) — The Latest on the Iraqi offensive to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State group (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Thousands of followers of an Iraqi Shiite cleric are marching in front of the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad demanding the withdrawal of Turkish troops from a base near the northern city of Mosul.

Turkey says the troops are training Iraqi fighters to help retake Mosul from the Islamic State group, and that they are there with the permission of the Iraqi government. Baghdad denies it granted permission and has ordered them to withdraw — a call Ankara has ignored.

At Tuesday's rally in Baghdad, the followers of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr chanted: "Get out, Get out, occupier," and "Yes, yes, for Iraq."

Sheikh Majid al-Fartousi, a Sadrist representative, says: "We condemn Turkish interference in Iraqi affairs. No one should trespass and occupy Iraqi soil."

The tensions between Baghdad and Ankara have raised concerns about the offensive to retake Mosul, which officially began on Monday. The operation involves some 25,000 army troops, Kurdish forces, Sunni fighters and Shiite militias. The various fighting units are allied against IS, but many have a history of animosity toward each other.

11:30 a.m.

An Iraqi special forces commander says his troops have delayed their advance that's part of the offensive to retake the Islamic State-held city of Mosul following a request from Kurdish forces for more time to achieve their objectives.

Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil told The Associated Press on Tuesday that his men had planned to move at dawn, but postponed upon a request from the Kurdish forces, known as the peshmerga.

A Kurdish commander had earlier told AP that his forces were consolidating gains made yesterday, when the peshmerga seized a handful of small villages east of the city.

The large and complex operation to recapture Mosul, Iraq's largest city, began Monday and is expected to last weeks or months. It involves a wide array of forces approaching the IS-held city, Iraq's second largest, from different directions.

10 a.m.

Iraq's Kurdish forces say they are pausing in their advance on Mosul after capturing a handful of villages to the east from the Islamic State group as the Iraqi army presses ahead with the next stage of the operation to retake the IS-held city.

Col. Khathar Sheikhan of the Kurdish forces, known as peshmerga, says his troops achieved their objectives and "are just holding our positions" in the Khazer area on Tuesday.

The pause comes after a day of intense fighting involving airstrikes, heavy artillery and IS car bombs.

The battle for Mosul, Iraq's second largest city and the IS group's last urban bastion, started on Monday. It's expected to take weeks or even months.

The front line east of Mosul is some 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the city.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


MiddleEast
The Latest on the Iraqi offensive to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State group (all times local):12:30 p.m.Thousands of followers of an Iraqi Shiite cleric are marching in front of the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad demanding the withdrawal of Turkish troops from a...
ML,Iraq,The Latest
470
2016-54-18
Tuesday, 18 October 2016 05:54 AM
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