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Turkey Launches Military Drills Near Iraq Border

The Turkish ground forces kicked off previously unannounced military exercises near the city of Silopi, situated near the country's border with Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan Region, on September 18. Tanks, missile carriers, and artillery were involved in the drills. The move by the Turkish Army comes ahead of a unilaterally declared Iraqi Kurdish referendum on independence set to be held on September 25. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has warned that Turkey will take any necessary steps in response. (Reuters, AFP)