Turkey's Erdogan says Ankara aims to reinforce troops on Iraq border

October 29, 2016 3:01 PM EDT

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan attends a Republic Day ceremony at Anitkabir, the mausoleum of modern Turkey's founder Ataturk, to mark the republic's anniversary in Ankara, Turkey, October 29, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas


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ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey was aiming to reinforce its troops deployments in its Iraqi border town of Silopi and that it would have a "different response" for Shi'ite militia groups if they cause terror in the Iraqi city of Tal Afar.

Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi'ite paramilitary groups have said they have started an offensive against Islamic State positions west of Mosul, which will target Tal Afar.

Speaking to reporters at a reception marking Republic Day in Ankara, Erdogan said the information he received had not confirmed such movement. He gave no details on the numbers of reinforcements, or what the different response would be.

Ankara has repeatedly warned that it would take measures if there is an attack on the city, which has a sizeable ethnic Turkmen population, as part of a wider U.S.-led offensive to retake Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic State.

(Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk)



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