Turkey’s defense minister confirmed Tuesday the country’s air force will join the operation to liberate Mosul from Daesh.
Fikri Isik’s remarks came on Tuesday evening in Rome at the Turkish embassy. Addressing reporters after a South-Eastern defense ministers meeting, Isik said: “We have come to an agreement with coalition forces that our air force will join the Mosul operation.”
When asked to evaluate Turkey being invited to a meeting on Mosul in Paris in the coming days, Isik said: “It is impossible to decide on Mosul’s future without Turkey.”
A broad military campaign aimed at retaking northern Iraq’s Daesh-held city entered its second day on Tuesday with more losses sustained by the terrorist group.
In mid-2014, Daesh captured Mosul — Iraq’s second-largest city — before overrunning large swathes of territory in the country’s northern and western regions.
Recent months have seen the Iraqi army, backed by local allies on the ground and a U.S.-led air coalition, 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 recapture by year’s end.