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Oct 4, 7:21 AM EDT

Turkey: Battle for Iraq's Mosul could spark sectarian strife

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkey is warning that the planned offensive in Iraq to retake that country's second-largest city of Mosul from the Islamic State group could spark Shiite-Sunni sectarian tensions.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told ruling party legislators in parliament on Tuesday that the U.S.-led coalition plans to retake Mosul are "not transparent."

He warned of the risk of "enflaming" sectarian tensions if the Sunni Arab-majority region around Mosul were to be placed under Shiite militia control after the offensive.

Yildirim also warned Turkey is capable of routing Syrian Kurdish fighters from northern Syria if they continue to ignore Ankara's demands for a full withdrawal east of the Euphrates River.

Turkey says the Kurdish militia, which it claims is affiliated with Turkey's outlawed Kurdish rebels, has not pulled back despite promises.

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