Turkey launches a military drill featuring tanks close to the Iraqi border and dispatches military vehicles to its southern border with Syria where several warring sides are jockeying for position in the face of Daesh losses.
The military exercise began in the Silopi-Habur region in the country’s south, close to northern Iraq, a week before Iraq’s Kurdish region will hold a vote on possible secession.
Ankara has warned that the vote could risk “civil war” and “have a cost” if it goes ahead but Iraqi Kurdistan have said they would hold the non-binding referendum on September 25.
Witnesses in the region, quoted by the French news agency AFP, said they saw around 100 military vehicles deployed closed to the Iraqi border, including tanks, in the early hours of Monday.
A Turkish military statement said, “Simultaneously with this exercise, counter-terrorism operations in the border region continue.”