Local killed by last bombing

Turkish military base in Bashiqa: bombed at least 10 times

Baghdad, 2015: An Iraqi military patrol in front of the Turkish embassy. Reuters

By Ammar Aziz in Ninewa

An Iraqi citizen was killed in the bombing of the Turkish military base in Bashiqa, Mosul, hours after six people were killed in two separate drone strikes, allegedly by Turkey, in Aghjalar sub-district of Chamchamal district in Sulaymaniyah and Makhmur camp in Ninewa province.

Drones targeted the Turkish military base in Bashiqa on May 21st, 2013, least 10 times so far, and a local was killed.

Hamad Amin Gharib, the mayor of Zelkan sub-district, the closest local official to the Turkish military base, told KirkukNow that the attack injured a citizen from Kalakchi sub-district in Sheikhan district, Khalid Abdulrahman, who worked as a chef and died in Sheikhan hospital.”

A neighbor of Khalid Abdulrahman's house also confirmed that he was a cook at the military camp.

Per an agreement concluded between Turkey and the Iraqi government in 2016, as part of its participation in the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ISIS, Turkey established a military base in Zelkan sub-district, under the pretext of providing support to the Iraqi forces in the field of military training, especially to the Sunni tribal mobilization forces, part of the Shiite paramilitary of Popular mobilization Forces PMF known as al-Hashid al-Shabi.

The camp is located on the outskirts of Bashik sub-district in Al-Hamdaniya district, near Zelkan sub-district of Shekhan district in Ninewa.

The targeting of the Turkish military base in Bashiqa comes after two separate drone attacks on Aghjaler in the camp of Makhmur, where Kurdish refugees from Turkey live, killing six people in both attacks.

Khalid Abdul Rahman, an Iraqi chef, was killed in the latest bombing. Social media

"The targeting of the Turkish military base comes at a time when Turkey has targeted Hashdi Shaabi twice in the Ninewa plains, the last time in mid-April this year," mayor of Bashiqa Zanun Younis told KirkukNow.

"The bombing of Hashdi Shaabi by Turkey was in reaction to the targeting of the Turkish military base in Bashiqa... This is a really bad and terrible precedent. If these attacks continue, it will harm the people of the region," he said.

The PMF has not commented on the Turkish attack on its headquarters in the Ninewa Plain, but its headquarters have been targeted more than once in Shingal (Sinjar), home to the Ezidi community, where armed groups affiliated to Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK, fighting Turkey and holding territories in Iraq, are based.

Hashd al-Shaabi has repeatedly denied allegations of targeting a Turkish military base in Bashiqa.

Meanwhile, Hamad Amin Gharib, the governor of Zelkan district, told KirkukNow that they are not aware that Turkey has bombed PMF bases in the Ninewa plains.

"The base has been targeted at least 10 times, but no one has claimed responsibility," he said.

There are three villages close to the Turkish base: Kudat and Jabra, which are inhabited by a mixture of Kurds and Arabs, in addition to the village of Sharaf, which is inhabited by Arabs. The residents of those villages returned to their homes after the end of the war against ISIS.

The camp is located on the outskirts of Bashik sub-district in Al-Hamdaniya district, near Zelkan sub-district of Shekhan district in Nineveh province.

Ninewa, February 2022: One of PMF bases in Shingal was destroyed by drone bombing. Ibrahim Yazidi

Turkey has opened a military base in Bashiqa near Zelkan sub-district in 2016 to assist the Iraqi forces in the fight against ISIS, especially the Sunni mobilization forces.

The military base is located at the oustskirts of Bashiqa sub-district in Hamdania district and the beginning of Zelkan sub-district in Sheikhan district of Ninewa province.

About 40% of Zelkan residents have returned home after years of displacement. The population of Zelkan is about 50,000 people. The district includes 30 villages, the majority of which are Ezidis (Yazidis), beside Muslim Sunni Arabs and Kurds.

Kata'ib Hezbollah and Sayyid al-Shuhada, are pro-Shiite armed factions operating under the umbrella of the General Authority for the PMF. These factions are often accused by their opponents of being pro-Iranian and launching attacks against the Turkish base which the PMF denies.

In April 2021, a missile fired at the base, hit a house, injuring two children. The Turkish Ministry of Defense announced the murder of one of its soldiers.

Following April attack on the base, a group calling itself (Ahrar Sinjar) stressed in a statement that it has been waiting for the federal government for a long time to take a position regarding the Turkish attacks on Shingal (Sinjar) district, west of Nineveh province, but “it has not fulfilled its duty to protect the people of Sinjar, so they targeted the base military.”

The local residents of the war-torn region are afraid to fell victim for the conflict between Turkey and pro-PKK groups.

"We hear the sound of rockets very loudly and we are scared, especially our children," said Saeed Ali, the headman of Kendal village in Zelkan sub-district, only 15 km from the military base.

He called on the Iraqi government to resolve the issue.

Turkish fighters from time-to-time launch cross-border air raids targeting Shingal district and Makhmour camp in Ninewa, which caused civilian victims, including children, targeting pro-PKK factions.

Early February, Turkey bombed several areas in Shingal, one of which resulted in the complete destruction of one of PMF bases.

"The military base should be removed from the area and it is a violation of Iraqi sovereignty," Qusai Abbas, a member of the Iraqi parliament and representative of Ninewa, said.

"The source of the bombing is unknown... and the information that has been published for some time that Turkey has targeted Hashdi Shaabi is not true," he said.

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