„The most intriguing aspect of the Mosul campaign, however, has been the differing and often opposing agendas of the various components of the attacking force. These, with surprising rapidity, have now have come to the fore. Just two weeks into the offensive, two of its most prominent backers – the Baghdad government of Prime Minister Haider al Abadi, and the Turkish government – are engaged in a war of words. How has this crisis emerged, and what may be the direction of events in the next phase? (…) In the Mosul offensive, however, the Iranian project for wielding power via proxy is colliding with a rival project of a similar nature, maintained by President Recep Tayep Erdogan of Turkey. (…) [F]or the militias themselves and those that back them, the Turkish gambit must be opposed. The Iranians and their allies are already engaged against Turkish supported militias in northern Syria. For them, the battle in Iraq is part of the same fight.
[T]he ongoing tensions between Ankara and Baghdad/Teheran show that even as the fight for Mosul city has not yet reached its expected height, the various players are already competing for supremacy in the aftermath. As of now, the Iranians have overall the better hand. Their experience in the use of proxy forces is of longer standing than that of the Turks. They are allied with the central government in Baghdad. The US and the west perceive little danger in their activities in the post nuclear deal era. The Turks, however, have demonstrated in northern Syria earlier this year a willingness to employ their own forces in bold but risky gambits on the fragmented territory of their neighbors. Iranian-Turkish and Shia-Sunni rivalry are at the heart of the struggle for power in Ninevah Province and further afield. The meaning of all this is that northern Iraq has ceased to function as a sovereign territory. Other forces – Turkish soldiers, Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Kurdish guerrillas, Shia militiamen, Sunni jihadis, are now engaged in a battle over its territory and resources.“ (Jonathan Spyer: „Battle for Power: Iran vs. Turkey in northern Iraq“)
Mehr zum Thema auf Mena Watch: