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Turkish military base in Iraq’s northern Nineveh province targeted by rockets

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file picture, Turkish soldiers take part in an operation against Kurdish PKK militants in the Metina region of northern Iraq. (Photo by Turkey’s Demirören News Agency)

A number of rockets have targeted a military base in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh, where Turkish military forces are engaged in operations against positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group.

The Iraqi Arabic-language al-Forat television network reported that three rockets were launched at Zilkan base in northern Iraq’s Bashiqa region late on Tuesday. They projectiles landed on the outskirts of nearby Baqiyan village instead.

Mayor of the Sheikhan district, Sardar Yahya, said the rockets were apparently launched from the direction of Mosul city, and fortunately did not inflict casualties on the local population.

On November 8, the same Turkish military base was targeted by at least two missiles. There were no reports of causalities as a result of the attack on the camp, which lies north of Mosul.

On May 3, Iraqi Foreign Ministry summoned Turkish chargé d'affairs in Baghdad to submit a letter of protest over Ankara’s ongoing violations in Kurdistan region, including the presence of the Turkish defense minister in the area without prior coordination.

The ministry also denounced Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu’s statements about establishing a permanent Turkish military base in northern Iraq.

Turkish military forces launched operations Pence-Simsek and Pence-Yildirim on April 23 in northern Iraq’s Metina and Avasin-Basyan regions in pursuit of PKK militants.

Militants of the PKK — designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union — regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.

A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.

More than 40,000 people have been killed during the three-decade conflict between Turkey and the autonomy-seeking militant group.

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