Turkish military camp in Zelkan: source of unrest for civilians

Secuirty forces in front of Embassy of Turkey in Baghdad in 2015. Photo by Reuters.

Ammar Aziz, Nineveh

Local officials and civilian residents of Zelkan sub-district of Shekhan predominant Ezidi district complain the Turkish military base has become a source of threat as in every bombing, casualties among civilians are reported.

On April 14th, 2021, when the Turkish military camp was bombed, a rocket hits house of a local, two teenage girls were injured.

The military camp is close to Bashiqa district, 12km north east of Mosul, and well known as Bashiqa Military base.

"We are just 100 meters away from the military base so no one can sleep safely. A rocket hit our village but it has not exploded," Zedan Ahmed, an elderly of Gudad village of Zelkan told KirkukNow. The village is home to about 750 of Sunni Muslim Arabs.

The rocket fell at the house of a villager; a concrete block fell on his two 11 and 13 teenager girls. "One of them is suffering serious injury and damage caused to their house. People were really panicked."

"One of them is suffering serious injury and damage caused to their house. People were really panicked."


Nineveh April 2021: The rocket hit house of a civilian in Gudad village in Zelkan sub-district close to the Turkish military base. Photo by Rudaw Media Network.

Turkish ministry of defense said in a statement a Turkish soldier was killed by the attack.

The attack by unknown perpetrator was coincident with a drone attack against a base for coalition forces in Erbil International Airport and a base for pro-Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces PMF militia in Bartala, west of Mosul.

The ministry of interior of Kurdistan Regional Government KRG said in a statement that no casualties were reported in Erbil attack carried out by a drone carrying TNT explosives.   

Iraqi and Kurdish ministries of interior said in a joint statement that investigations are ongoing and attackers of Erbil and Nineveh will be held accountable.

"The incident led to deep panic and stress for the residents of the area," Mohamed Amin Gharib, director of Zelkan sub-district told KirkukNow.  

Gharib said the first time was during war against ISIS when the base was bombed. No information about damage cause to the camp, he added.

The district used to be home of 50,000 people living in about 30 villages, so far only 40% back to their homes. The majority are Ezidis, Muslim Arabs ad Kurds.

Following the so-called Islamic state control of one third of Iraqi territories in Mosul and other areas, Turkish troops in the excuse of war against IS, were deployed in the area despite frequent calls by Iraqi governments to leave the region.

Raf'at Simo, deputy of Nineveh governor for administrative affairs, said, "this is a sovereign issue and Iraq should decide to close the camp which is source of threat and suspicion for nearby villages."

"The attacks will continue and people will be victims as long as the base is there."

"The attacks will continue and people will be victims as long as the base is there."

baragay hash

Nineveh April 2021: Base of brigade 30 of PMF bombed in Bartala. Photo by PMF media. 

Brigade 30 of PMF in Basakhara of bartala sub-district, west of Mosul, was bombed the same night. Several militants were injured and material losses reported.

Zaboun Younis, director of Bashiqa sub-district, said the Turkish military has become a threat for all the residents of nieneveh plains.

Residents of bashiqa, 12 km North West of Mosul, are mainly Ezidis, Christians and Muslims. 95% of the IDPs have returned home. The region is run by National security, Iraqi army, police, PMF and Kurdish Peshmerga (fighter).

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