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Turkey Does Not Rule Out Ground Operation In Iraq

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (file photo)
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (file photo)

Turkey's foreign minister says Ankara could launch a ground operation in neighboring Iraq if it feels its security is threatened.

Mevlut Cavusoglu told local television on October 25 that "we are ready to use all our resources including a ground operation." He added that Turkey's activities in Syria were an example of Ankara's readiness to ensure its own security.

Baghdad has said Turkey is not participating in the ongoing offensive to remove Islamic State militants from the city of Mosul.

Cavusoglu said Turkey has four F-16 fighter jets ready to participate in international-coalition air strikes in Iraq if necessary.

Turkey has been fighting Kurdish militants associated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), including the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria.

Ankara regularly carries out air strikes against Kurdish bases in northern Iraq.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP