US tries to end spat threatening Mosul battle

Iraqi forces fire a self-propelled howitzer during an effort to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State October 19, 2016, an operation the US worries could be hampered by a Turkey-Iraq disputeUS officials are scrambling to end a dispute between Ankara and Baghdad that threatens to derail a carefully developed plan to retake Mosul from the Islamic State group. Officials fear a war of words between Turkey and Iraq’s central government could jeopardize a fragile pact that would keep rival sectarian and ethnic militias out of the northern Iraqi city’s center. “There is a lot of tension and the public rhetoric has gotten a bit out of hand,” a senior administration official told AFP.

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