At a time when tensions between Russia and Turkey have heightened, a new confrontation is quietly fermenting between the Turks and the Iranians. As Ankara pursues its strategy of exerting more influence along its southern periphery – which Geopolitical Futures predicted would happen – it is inevitable that Turkey will come into conflict with Tehran. Iran has already been trying to block Turkey in Syria and now, with Turkish forces approaching Mosul, has to also worry about Turkish incursions in Iraq.
Turkey moved to deploy some 200 troops and 20 tanks near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. While agreeing not to deploy further military personnel, Ankara rejected calls to withdraw the force already present there, which it argues is needed to help Kurdish peshmerga and Sunni militiamen fight the Islamic State. On the same day, the Shia-dominated Iraqi government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called on NATO to force the Turks to withdraw their forces. In response, Turkish Foreig