Float­ing in the flood

Neigh­bours sum­mon am­bas­sadors

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS -

Turkey and Iraq sum­moned each other’s am­bas­sadors yes­ter­day to protest state­ments by one coun­try’s prime minister and the other’s parliament.

Iraq’s For­eign Min­istry sum­moned Tur­keys’ am­bas­sador to Bagh­dad to con­demn al­legedly “provoca­tive” com­ments made by Turk­ish Prime Minister Bi­nali Yildirim on Tues­day about the planned op­er­a­tion to dis­lodge ISIS mil­i­tants from the north­ern city of Mo­sul, said spokesman Ah­mad Ja­mal.

Yildrim told rul­ing party leg­is­la­tors in parliament that the Iraqi op­er­a­tion could spark Shia-Sunni sec­tar­ian ten­sions if the ma­jor­ity Sunni re­gion around Mo­sul were to be placed un­der Shia mili­tia con­trol af­ter the of­fen­sive. How­ever, it is still un­clear if the mili­tias, the core of the Iraqi para­mil­i­tary forces bat­tling ISIS, will take an es­sen­tial part in the Mo­sul op­er­a­tion.

Re­la­tions be­tween Iraq and Turkey have be­come strained since late last year when Turkey sent unau­tho­rised troops to the re­gion of Bashiqa, north­east of Mo­sul to train an­tiISIS fight­ers. Bagh­dad con­sid­ers this a “bla­tant vi­o­la­tion” of Iraq’s sovereignty and has de­manded Turk­ish with­drawal, a call Ankara has ig­nored.

Yildrim com­ments on Tues­day echoed those of Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan days ear­lier dur­ing a par­lia­men­tary ses­sion in which Turk­ish leg­is­la­tors ex­tended the man­date of Turk­ish forces in Syria and Iraq for one more year.

Er­do­gan ex­pressed Ankara’s will­ing­ness to join the im­mi­nent bat­tle for Mo­sul.

In Iraq, the parliament on Tues­day adopted a res­o­lu­tion de­nounc­ing the ex­ten­sion of Turk­ish troops’ pres­ence and ask­ing the govern­ment to con­sider them as “oc­cu­pa­tion forces.” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi later told re­porters the pres­ence of Turk­ish troops “is one of the chal­lenges” ahead of the Mo­sul op­er­a­tion, warn­ing that Ankara’s in­sis­tence could lead to a “re­gional war­fare.”

In Ankara, the Iraqi en­voy was sum­moned for a protest over the Iraqi parliament res­o­lu­tion. The For­eign Min­istry said Turkey has for years suf­fered from ter­ror threats aris­ing from in­sta­bil­ity in Iraq and had strongly sup­ported Iraq’s ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity, sta­bil­ity and security.

Mo­sul, Iraq’s sec­ond-largest city lo­cated about 360km north­west of Bagh­dad, is the last re­main­ing ISIS ur­ban strong­hold in Iraq. The govern­ment is now gear­ing up for a ma­jor of­fen­sive to re­take Mo­sul.

Two boys float in an old wooden box in an area flooded by heavy rains caused by Hur­ri­cane Matthew in La Puya slum in the Ar­royo Hondo creek in Santo Domingo, Do­mini­can Repub­lic. Matthew roared into the south­west­ern coast of the is­land of His­pan­iola with dev­as­tat­ing storm con­di­tions as it headed north to­ward Cuba and the eastern coast of Florida.

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