Despite much opposition to its military involvement in the battle for Mosul, Iraqi Shia militiamen, known as the Hashd Al-Shabi, maintain that they will enter the city if asked by Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi.
At the same time, Iraq’s pro-Shia and pro-Iranian media and officials are continuing to maintain strong opposition to any Turkish military involvement in the fight for Mosul.
One of the Shia militia leaders, Hadi Al-Amiri, a close ally of Tehran, is increasingly linking the two issues together as he seeks to make the role of the Shia militias into an inevitability. In his latest statements, Al-Amiri warns that the fight for Mosul will not be a cakewalk and that the liberation of the city will be a long haul effort.
This is a jab at the Turks and the notion that the Turkish Air Force can play a critical role in the Mosul operation. In other words, the Shia militias will insist on a military role despite the opposition and will claim that without them participating in the fight the eradication of ISIS from Iraq’s soil unfeasible.