According to Turkish officials, ISIS fighters fired rockets at a Turkish tank company stationed at the Bashiqa area near Mosul in Iraq earlier today. Turkey withdrew some troops earlier this week – However, they merely moved them to another camp near Mosul. Meanwhile, Baghdad maintains they should pull out completely since as the Turkish Army presence continues in Iraq.
No casualties were reported amongst Turkish troops – however, four Turkish soldiers were, according to the Turkish government, injured during this incident. Also, this event happens as the Russian government has repeatedly accused the Erdogan-led Muslim Brotherhood government in Turkey of buying oil from ISIS.
Ankara claims it deployed soldiers and tanks to northern Iraq to support Kurdish forces in their fight against the Islamic State. However, the Turkish Airforce has repeatedly bombed PKK militants in Iraq and remains somewhat hostile with the Kurdish population inside Turkey itself as clashes between Kurdish protesters and the Turkish police have been on the rise in the past week.
“This was an attempt by the Islamic State to breach Kurdish defensive lines following significant losses in recent months,” read the statement by the Turkish Defense Ministry. “Pressure continues to build on ISIS as Peshmerga forces hold supply lines connecting their key strongholds in Iraq and Syria”.
Furthermore, The Turkish government said in a statement Wednesday’s fighting demonstrated it had been right to send forces to protect its personnel: “This attack showed how legitimate our concerns were about the security of Bashiqa camp,” it said.