Adnan Abdul Amir Mehdi Al-Zubaidi: Tikrit University College of Political Science


International relations throughout history have been characterized as either conflict, cooperation, or international competition, especially in strategic regions of the world, which have been of interest to geopolitical scholars such as Mackinder and the theory of the heart of the world, and whoever controls the heart controls the world. The Middle East has considered one of the most important of these regions referred to as the heart of the world, especially the Arab Gulf region, and specifically Iraq, due to its strategic location that connects the East and the West, and its diverse energy resources especially crude oil, and natural gas, which have made it an area of conflict and international competition among regional and international countries to exert influence and control through various soft, hard, and intelligent power means.

Despite the nature of the research topic dominated by the specialization of international politics and international relations in political science, those countries as moral entities are governed by political systems and plan and implement their strategies through general government policies that manage this international conflict and competition over the most important region in the world, which pushes towards research on Turkish and Iranian military intervention in Iraq through tools in political systems and public policies that determine the problem, its backgrounds, causes, consequences, and the options of public policies for the best realistic solutions to the general problem facing Iraq at present, which is:

First: Background and Discussions

After the occupation of Iraq in 2003, the fall of its political system, the outbreak of the so-called Arab Spring revolutions regionally, the fall of many political systems, and the emergence of internal disturbances in their aftermath, conditions were created for regional and international intervention in the region and to gain the greatest gains from the new environment changes, with Turkey and Iran being at the forefront of those countries. Their roles shifted from being supporters of the current situation to that of mediators, to supporters of some of the different armed factions, and a direct occupation role on the ground. Therefore, we will discuss the reasons for Turkish and Iranian military intervention in Iraq and the consequences, as follows:

  1. The Reasons for Turkish military intervention in Iraq:

Since the establishment of modern Turkey in 1923, Turkish-Iraqi relations have been characterized by their variable nature, as there are three fundamental reasons for Turkish intervention in Iraq (the border issue, the Kurdish issue, the water issue, and the Turkmen issue).

The border issue: Turkey looks at Iraq with a sense of security concern regarding external intervention and its investment in some of the internal conflicts and issues that affect Turkish national security and the unity of Turkish territory. This has been a security issue for a long time, and it is about regulating the international borders between the two countries and reducing the threat of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which has been fighting a separatist war against Turkey since 1984, as well as the grounds for the dispute between the two parties due to the Cold War back then, and each party’s affiliation with one of the axes on the international scene. Therefore, the bilateral relations between Iraq and Turkey have been marked by crises, such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party attacks against Turkish territories from the Kurdistan region, which is not subject to central Iraqi authority. This has led Ankara always to cross the border and carry out military operations in northern Iraq under the pretext of fighting Kurdish terrorism, which makes northern Iraq a haven, as well as Turkey’s failure to conceal its ambitions for a role in the region, especially after the fall of the Iraqi regime in 2003.