3 rockets land near Turkish base in Iraq
Baghdad: Three Katyusha rockets landed near a Turkish military base in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh, a security source said.
The attack took place on Thursday evening and the rockets landed about 3 km away from the Turkish base near the town of Bashiqa, the source from the Iraqi army told Xinhua news agency.
He 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 the Bashiqa base led to a dispute with Ankara, as Baghdad repeatedly said the forces violated the country’s sovereignty by entering 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 fight the Islamic State (IS) terror group in Mosul, which was liberated 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, especially in the Qandil mountain range.