Kurdish Protestors Attack Turkish Military Base

Since intervening in the Syrian conflict, Turkish soldiers have advanced into parts of northern Iraq. (Wikipedia Commons)

Since intervening in the Syrian conflict, Turkish soldiers have advanced into parts of northern Iraq. (Wikipedia Commons)

In response to Turkish air raids that killed four people in northern Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, hundreds of Kurdish protesters attacked a Turkish base near the city of Shaladze. At least one person died and multiple were injured when the protestors stormed the base. Kurdish security forces responded to these protesters by arresting some, which caused the rest to disperse.

The instigating incident for this attack seems to have been a Turkish air raid in the region that killed four individuals. According to the Turkish government, those killed were members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Turkey has been engaged in a conflict with the PKK since at least 1984 that has left tens of thousands dead. Although there was a two year ceasefire that began in 2013, fighting between the two groups resumed in 2015.

Individuals who were involved in the protests say that a 13-year-old teenager from Shaladze, Hassan Rekan Hussein, was killed in the attack on the Turkish base, while another 10 people were injured. Protestors on the ground have said that the casualties came from the Turkish forces firing on them.

The Turkish Defense Ministry, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), and the Iraqi Foreign Minister all issued statements following the violence. The Turkish Defense Ministry tweeted, “An attack has occurred on one of the bases located in northern Iraq as a result of provocation by the PKK terrorist organisation. There was partial damage to vehicles and equipment during the attack.”

Meanwhile, the KRG released a statement saying, “There are provocateurs behind the attack and they will be punished,” and claiming that they are investigating the incident. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry stated that while they condemned “the use of its territory to threaten the security and safety of any neighboring country,” they also equally condemned “Turkish forces opening fire on our citizens in Sheladize…which resulted in the death and injuries of some people.” '

Following the clash, the Iraqi government summoned the Turkish Ambassador to Iraq and sent a letter to the Turkish government insisting that Turkish fighter planes do not bomb Iraqi territory again.