3 rockets land near Turkish base in northern Iraq

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 13, 2021
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Three Katyusha rockets on Thursday landed near a Turkish military base in Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, a security source said.

The attack took place in the evening when the rockets landed about 3 km away from the Turkish base near the town of Bashiqa in the northeast of Nineveh's provincial capital Mosul, Montaser al-Taie from the Iraqi army told Xinhua.

Al-Taie said that the rockets did not explode and caused no damage to the base, while the Iraqi forces launched a search campaign for the attackers.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack on the base, where hundreds of Turkish soldiers have been deployed since 2015.

The presence of the Turkish troops in Bashiqa base led to a dispute between Iraq and Turkey, as Baghdad repeatedly said Turkish forces violated Iraq's sovereignty by entering the country without permission.

However, Ankara said that Turkish soldiers were sent to Bashiqa at the request of former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and that their presence was aimed at training both Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and local tribal volunteers to combat militants of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group in Mosul, which was liberated from IS militants in July 2017.

After the defeat of IS, the Turkish troops continued their presence on Iraqi soil to combat the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants in northern Iraq, especially in the Qandil mountain range where the main PKK bases are stationed.

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