World, Middle East

Two Iraqis killed, 4 Turkish troops hurt in N.Iraq Daesh attack

Turkish military destroys Daesh targets in northern Iraq after rocket fire hits training base

16.12.2015
Two Iraqis killed, 4 Turkish troops hurt in N.Iraq Daesh attack

Ankara

ANKARA & WASHINGTON

Two Iraqis were killed and four Turkish troops were wounded when a training base in northern Iraq was hit by Daesh on Wednesday.

The training base in Bashiqa near Mosul was targeted by rocket fire from positions under Daesh control, according to a statement from the Turkish General Staff. 

"During the clashes between [the] Daesh terror organization and peshmerga forces, some … Katyusha rockets have fallen into [the] Bashiqa base region where Turkish troops are also deployed, at around 15.10," the statement read.

The Turkish soldiers were rushed to a hospital in Turkey's southeastern Sirnak province, where they are in a good condition, the military added. 

However, two members of the Iraqi volunteer forces training at the camp were killed during the attack, a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement said. 

After the attack the Turkish military destroyed Daesh targets, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated, adding: "This was important to show Turkey's determent force." 

Davutoglu also highlighted that Turkish troops' presence in Bashiqa was a part of the fight against terrorism, noting: "If our armed forces want to take a new step there, they have the full authority to do this." 

Baghdad had complained about the Dec. 4 deployment of Turkish troops to the site near Mosul, calling it a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and insisting the Turkish forces be withdrawn.

Turkey says its troops are stationed in Bashiqa to protect Turkish servicemen training Iraqi volunteers to fight Daesh. The training mission has been in Iraq since March and is not assigned to combat duties.  

"This attack shows how we were right to worry about the security of Bashiqa camp ... and how necessary were the guarding elements [Turkish troops] that we wanted to station there," the Foreign Ministry said. 

"Our wish is to prioritize the fight against Daesh again," it added. 

Atheel al-Nujaifi, former governor of Mosul, speaking to Anadolu Agency, said that the attack was not unexpected. 

"It was not a surprise. We were expecting that they [Daesh] would conduct such an attack," he said.

Nujaifi, who was in the camp during the attack, added: "We will, from now on, exert every kind of effort to eliminate the Daesh threat."

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was informed by Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Chief of Turkish General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar about the latest developments in Bashiqa during a phone call.

In the United States, an unnamed official linked to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's office condemned the attack on Turkish troops, calling on the Iraqi and Turkish governments to de-escalate tensions over the presence of Ankara's forces in the north of the country. 

"Now more than ever, it will be important for Iraq and Turkey to accelerate their efforts to de-escalate tensions, ensure dialogue remains constructive, reaffirm support for Iraqi security and sovereignty, and strengthen their cooperation against ISIL [Daesh]," the source added. 

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
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