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Iraqi security forces began direct operations to liberate Mosul, the capital of Ninevah province, from Daesh (ISIS) the morning of Oct. 17 .The Iraqi concern is less that Turkish troops would take Mosul than that their proxy would, which consists of some local Mosul police but mostly of former regime military personnel who are politically loyal to former parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, Turkey's primary Sunni Arab ally.Burhan Koroglu, a Turkish academic, explained on Al-Jazeera that Turkey's role stemmed from "four hundred years of rule" in Mosul, and on Dijla, an Iraqi Sunni television channel, two Turkish commentators likewise framed the recent additional deployment to Bashiqa as an extension of Turkey's historical role in the region, and a way to protect local Sunni populations.In Ninevah, Shiite militias have the strongest interest in Tal Afar, the Turkmen-populated city west of Mosul were Daesh recruited strongly from Sunni Turkmen and cleansed the Shiite Turkmen population after taking it in 2014 .Abadi's criticisms of Turkey have been mild compared to most Shiite leaders, and he has tried to strike a balance, one expressed by his emphasis during the launch of the operation that only army and police units, not militias of the Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashd), would enter Mosul city itself.Thus Abadi's insistence that only army and police forces will enter Mosul may not only refer to Shiite militias, but also a determination to keep Nujaifi's Sunni militia out and cut Turkey off.
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