Officials: Rockets Hit Turkish Base in Northern Iraq

    Officials: Rockets Hit Turkish Base in Northern Iraq
    Last updated Feb 02, 2023
    Image credit: Al Jazeera


    • Iraqi Kurdish and Turkish officials stated on Wednesday that a cluster of rockets targeted a Turkish military base in northern Iraq, reportedly causing no injuries or damage.[1]
    • The Islamic Resistance Ahrar al-Iraq Brigade, which is part of Iraq’s Iran-backed paramilitary Popular Mobilisation Forces, claimed responsibility for the attack.[1]
    • According to the Counter-Terrorism Group, a security organization in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, eight rockets were fired on the Zilkan base, two of which landed inside the facility.[2]
    • Turkey has been conducting military operations in northern Iraq to combat the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which maintains sanctuaries in the region. Ankara, the EU, and the US have designated the PKK a terrorist organization.[3]
    • Meanwhile, Ankara has established several bases in the area since taking part in the US-led campaign against the Islamic State (IS), which used to control large swathes of the region, but Baghdad has frequently condemned Turkey's military presence, deeming it illegal.[4]
    • Last November, the Turkish military launched a campaign against the PKK positions in northern Iraq and northern Syria in reaction to a bomb attack in downtown Istanbul that killed six civilians.[5]


    Narrative A

    Turkish troops fighting terrorism in Iraq and Syria have occasionally been harassed and attacked by terrorists who wrongly believe that this can prevent Turkey from eradicating them. Nobody should doubt that such attacks will only boost Ankara's response, including taking steps Baghdad should take.

    Narrative B

    Despite receiving little global attention, Turkey's incursions across the widely depopulated Iraqi Kurdistan risk further destabilizing the region as its increased military presence is likely to embolden Iran to expand intelligence operations and military action in Iraq. Ankara has miscalculated the consequences of its steps and should halt its activities there.

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