Turkey can't be excluded from a possible operation to recapture the Iraqi city of Mosul, Turkey's president said Tuesday, telling Iraq's leader to "know his place."
In a speech delivered in Istanbul, Erdogan also said Turkish troops wouldn't withdraw from a base near Mosul, saying the Turkish army wouldn't take orders from Baghdad.
Turkey is training anti-IS fighters to help retake Mosul from the extremist group.
Speaking to Muslim religious leaders from the Balkans and Central Asia, Erdogan said objections from Iraq wouldn't stop Turkey from participating in any operation to free Mosul and proceeded to make vitriolic remarks against Iraq's prime minister.
"You are not my interlocutor, you are not at my level, you are not my equivalent, you are not of the same quality as me," Erdogan said, addressing Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. "Your screaming and shouting in Iraq is of no importance to us. You should know that we will go our own way."
Erdogan also said Turkey wouldn't withdraw its troops from the base in Bashiqa, adding that it was al-Abadi himself who had asked Ankara to train fighters there back in 2014.
"Turkey's army hasn't lost enough of its quality to take orders from you," Erdogan said in response to Iraqi calls for the troop's withdrawal. "We would do whatever is necessary as we have done until today."
Source: National News Agency