A number of rockets have reportedly targeted a military base in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh, which houses Turkish forces involved in ongoing military operations against purported positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
Sabereen News, a Telegram news channel associated with Iraqi anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units – better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi – reported that a number of 122 mm rockets struck Zilkan base in northern Iraq’s Bashiqa region at around 12 p.m. local time (0900 GMT) on Monday.
An Iraqi resistance group calling itself Taskeel Ahrar al-Iraq (Assembly of Free Iraqi Men) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it targeted the base.
The Erbil-based Directorate General of Counter Terrorism (CTD) said in a statement on its Facebook page that the military base in Zilkan was targeted with two rockets.
“One rocket landed inside the base while the other landed in the vicinity of Gudad village without causing casualties or material damage,” Kurdish-language Rudaw television news network cited the CTD as saying.
The rockets were believed to have been fired from near Gugjali neighborhood in Mosul city, the report added.
On July 20, Turkey carried out a strike against the Iraqi hill village of Parakh in the Zakho district in Dohuk province, killing at least nine tourists, including children and women, and wounding more than 20 others.
Authorities in Iraq insist that the attack was carried out by Turkish forces and that they are responsible for the deaths and injuries of Iraqi civilians, while Ankara says the country’s forces did not attack civilians.
In an interview with Iraq's al-Sumaria television network later in the day, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said, "If there is a problem between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), this problem should not be dragged into the Iraqi territory.”
“Some Iraqi military experts have proved that this attack was carried out by Turkey," he added.
However, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the following day that "according to the information we’ve received from the Turkish Air Force, we have not had any attacks on civilians [in Dohuk, Iraq]."
The Turkish Foreign Ministry also rejected claims by the Iraqi authorities in a statement, and attributed the attack to members of the PKK terrorist group.
Militants of the PKK — designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union — regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.
In response, the Turkish military has occupied areas in northern Iraq, where it regularly conducts attacks against purported PKK positions without the Arab country's consent. Baghdad has repeatedly condemned Ankara's ongoing military operations in northern Iraq.
Iraqi resistance groups have also time and again warned Turkey of the consequences of its incursions into their country.