Turkish soldier killed in rocket attack in northern Iraq: Defense Ministry

A rocket attack targeting a Turkish military base in Iraq's Bashiqa region caused the death of a Turkish soldier, the Defense Ministry said on April 14. Two other rockets that fell into a nearby village also wounded a child, the ministry said.

Turkey has around 500 troops in the Bashiqa camp in northern Iraq (File photo: Reuters).


A Turkish soldier was killed and a child was wounded after a rocket attack on a military compound in northern Iraq's Bashiqa region, the Turkish Defense Ministry said on April 14. 

The ministry said in a statement that three rockets were launched towards a military base in the region and that one had hit it. The other two fell into a nearby village, wounding the boy, it said.

The ministry added that an armed drone had been launched and that the "necessary measures" had been taken.

Ömer Çelik, the spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said the perpetrators "would pay the price in kind."

The news comes after a drone dropped explosives near U.S. forces stationed at Erbil airport in northern Iraq earlier on April 14, Kurdish officials said, with no immediate reports of casualties.

It was the first known attack carried out by a drone against U.S. forces in Erbil, amid a steady stream of rocket attacks on bases hosting American forces and the embassy in Baghdad that Washington blames on Iran-backed militias.

Shortly before the attack in Erbil, Iraqi officials said at least two rockets had landed on and near a base west of the city that hosts Turkish forces.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry later said Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu spoke to Iraqi Kurdish Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, adding Barzani had briefed Çavuşoğlu about the attacks in Erbil and Bashiqa, and offered condolences for the soldier's death.

Turkey has troops in Iraq both as part of a NATO contingent and a force against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants in the north.

The Iran-backed militias oppose both the presence of the United States and Turkey and demand a full withdrawal of all foreign troops.