BY: SAADET ORUÇ*
Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi has no real plans for Iraq and he will unfortunately continue to consult his Western friends about the future of the Iraqi people
Mosul is the focus of the world’s attention. Fortunately, news archives are available. Fortunately, we are just talking about the near future. Going back to the articles written just after Daesh’s “invasion” of Iraqi oil-rich city Mosul in the summer of 2014, you can easily find articles describing an invasion “without even a traffic accident.”
Iraq’s then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki handed the city over to Daesh without any resistance.
And currently, we can see a chain of escalating statements from Baghdad concerning the upcoming operation to liberate Mosul from Daesh. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other factions of Iraqi politics make statements warning Ankara to stay outside the picture vis-a-vis the operation in Mosul.
To date, Turkey has been asked by the Kurds in Iraq as well as the central government in Baghdad to provide support against Daesh and other threats.
Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi asked Ankara to help clear out his country of terrorist threats and invasion. However, recently, he has started to deny the obvious reality that camp Bashiqa, where Turkey provides training to Iraqis, was established upon the invitation of Baghdad. Of course, we should assume that the Iraqi prime minister is informed about camp Bashiqa and his gaffe was not the result of a lack of information.
However, giving the impression that “someone has pressed the button,” Iraqi officials started to make remarks in an aim to escalate tensions with Turkey.
It is clear that Abadi has made these statements following a “push” by those who hold his control button.
Muqteda al-Sadr, Nouri al-Maliki and some other Iraqi figures also came together on a common front against Turkey. A common front that they could not find to save their countries from turning into the playground of world powers. And a common front, which was unable to defeat Daesh to take control of their country.
It should be emphasized that Turkey has already been in the picture as a key player concerning Mosul, which cannot be excluded by words.
Training different groups of Iraqis including the Kurdish peshmergas, Turkey is in the picture as a game-setter.
The first two levels of the Mosul operation, which is planned to consist of three stages, has been completed.
The final stage, where ground troops will be included, is expected to start soon, within a few days or a few weeks.
Turkey expects its sensitivities to be taken into account. Initially, a possible inclusion of the PKK and the threat of an ethnic-demographic operation in Mosul and Tal Afar are red lines for Ankara.
In Mosul, Kirkuk and the centuries-long deadlock of oil-rich cities, nobody should assume Ankara will turn a bind eye to the historical developments in its neighborhood.
INDEPENDENCE AS A PRECIOUS QUALITY OF A STATESMAN
The video footage of U.S. President Barack Obama ignoring Abadi while he and his translators try to steal a moment with Obama at the G7 Summit held in Germany in 2015 has been recorded in diplomatic history as one of its most interesting moments.
I guess, Abadi-like popularity in global diplomacy is something that today’s presidents or prime ministers always envy.
Let’s put aside analyzing the funny video and speak to reality.
Actually, Obama loves him, and the two have never even had one single problem so far in their relationship. The U.S. president has never been shy while sharing his opinions for Iraq to his Iraqi counterpart and vice versa in their heart-to-heart talks.
Sorry for telling the truth but Mr. Abadi has never been mature enough to be able to keep his habit of speaking someone else’s mind a secret.
His latest objection to the Mosul operation against Daesh is the crystal clear proof of his childish reactions and shows he has again been taking advice from others.
The Iraqi prime minister has no real plans for Iraq and he will unfortunately continue to consult his Western friends about the future of the Iraqi people.
Finally, Abadi should think about the future of his post and his credibility before making manipulative remarks. And should never forget that those who pressed his button can easily take him out of the game. Independence as a quality is more valuable than ever in our region nowadays.
*SAADET ORUÇ is a Turkish journalist. She writes columns for Daily Sabah Turkish newspaper
(Published in Daily Sabah on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016)