Turk army fighting ISIL in Iraq

Turkish troops are locked in a covert fight against the Islamic State in north Iraq, the Telegraph has learned, despite Baghdad’s insistence that they leave the country.

Just nine miles northeast of the Isil stronghold of Mosul a number of tanks overlook the sprawling Nineveh plains, where they have been positioned for months.

With their barrels trained on the city, Ankara’s ground forces are engaged in shelling Isil, according to a Kurdish Peshmerga general.

“If the US was doing more the Turks wouldn’t have had to come in,” said General Bahram Yasin in reference to coalition efforts to tackle Isil.

Local witnesses have reported Turkish tanks moving around the base and shelling the insurgents. They also produced photographs showing two green camouflage tanks with distinctive turrets identified as Sabras (M60T), a model used by the Turkish military.

• What does Turkey's involvement in air strikes mean for Kurds, Isil, Syria and Nato?

There are between 1,000 and 2,000 Turkish forces in Ba'ashiqa according to Jabar Yawar, the chief of staff of the Kurdish Peshmerga Ministry.
This is a relatively large force to be almost anonymously in another country helping it resist an aggressor. The Turks are there largely because the US has failed to provide the support Iraq needs to defeat ISIL.  I think the Kurds deserve support, but it is surprising that they are getting it from one of their arch enemies.


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