Unidentified drones targeted a Turkish military base in Duhok in northern Iraq on Friday, a local official told the Arbil-based Kurdish news outlet Rudaw days after artillery shells targeted Zakho in an attack blamed on Turkey.
At least two drones targeted a Turkish military base in Duhok’s Bamarni district without resulting in any casualties, the official, who preferred to remain anonymous, said.
One of the drones crashed while the other was shot down by Turkish forces, the source added.
The attack came two days after nine civilians including children were killed and 23 others were wounded in Zakho artillery fire that Baghdad and Arbil blamed on Turkey. Ankara has denied its involvement in the bloody incident, claiming that they have “never carried out an attack on civilians.”
“This seems to be a retaliatory act by Iraqi militia groups,” tweeted Karwan Faidhi Dri, a senior reporter at Rudaw’s English language version about Friday’s drone attacks.
Turkish forces have an increased number of military bases and outposts in northern Iraq where they regularly carry out miliary operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been waging a bloody war in Turkey’s southeast since 1984 and is labelled as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community, including the EU and the United States.
Ankara said in 2020 that it had established 37 “military points” in Kurdistan’s border areas and inside Duhok, Arbil, Zakho and Soran.
Following Wednesday’s attack, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi warned Turkey that Baghdad reserves the “right to retaliate,” calling the artillery fire a “flagrant violation” of sovereignty, while Iraq’s President Barham Saleh deplored repeated “Turkish bombardment” and said the situation amounted to a “national security threat.”