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Turkey's defence minister warns an exodus of 1 million from Mosul

Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik warned that the planned military operation to retake Mosul from Daesh, could trigger an exodus of 1 million refugees to Turkey.

Isik said in a statement to reporters in Antalya on Tuesday that there must be a rigorous plan for the offensive, taking into account Mosul demographics; otherwise this will lead to an exodus of 1 million from Mosul.

He stressed that the Mosul liberation operation is directly linked to Turkey, pointing out that migrants will head to Turkey if they are not halted.

The Turkish minister added that the new migrants' wave will not only affect Turkey, but will heavily affect Europe as well.

Isik pointed out that the refugees' wave will cause a burden on Turkey, adding that refugees will head to Europe if Turkey was not able to absorb that burden.

He emphasised on the importance of not involving the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliate the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the Mosul's liberation operation ; stressing on the necessity of the indigenous population participation in this offensive to avoid demographic disturbances.

Isik stressed on the importance of absorbing the refugees in the Iraqi territory by the start of the military offensive, expressing Turkey's readiness for help.

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