ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Sunni Arab fighters trained by a contingent of Turkish army deployed in northern Iraq are to join an anticipated battle to recaptre the city of Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) group, the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) said on Friday.
According to the AA, Sunni fighters known as the "Hashd al-Watani" in the Bashiqa base of Nineveh Province would operate in coordination with the Iraqi Army and Peshmerga Forces of the Kurdistan Region during the anticipated battle for Mosul.
There has not been an immediate confirmation or denial by any Kurdish, Iraqi or American officials so far.
Citing officials "who have attended meetings between the US and Turkey" and Iraqi sources, the agency claimed that Mosul operation was to commence "in a few days' time if no extraordinary development occurred."
An undisclosed number of Turkish soldiers, thought to be in hundreds, and a score of tanks have camped since late 2015 in Bashiqa that is less than 15 miles north of the city of Mosul.
In the last two weeks, Turkey's military presence on Iraqi soil have become a matter of fierce exchanges and mutual condemnations between the two country's rulers.
At the beginning of the week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed that his country would do what it wanted in Mosul and attacked the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
Editing by Ava Homa