Around 200 ISIL militants killed in Bashiqa

Around 200 ISIL militants killed in Bashiqa

Uğur Ergan - ANKARA
Around 200 ISIL militants killed in Bashiqa Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq’s Bashiqa Camp have been under continuous attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), while around 200 militants from the jihadist group have been killed in retaliation, military sources told daily Hürriyet.

Military sources said that around 200 ISIL militants have been killed at Bashiqa since early January after Turkish troops and tanks were deployed to the camp. The ISIL offensives, which were conducted with Katyushas, were ineffective due to the security measures in place, the sources added.

The latest ISIL attack on Bashiqa was on Feb. 15, the sources said.

Turkey sent about 600 troops to the Bashiqa Camp near Mosul on Dec. 4, 2015, with the stated aim of training an Iraqi militia to fight the jihadist group, but the created tensions with the Baghdad government. Following strong reactions both from the United States and Iran, Turkey was forced to pull out a significant number of its troops and tanks from the camp.

Turkey has stressed that the Bashiqa camp is a military facility where all groups in the international coalition fighting ISIL are represented, arguing that the troops are part of a mission to train Iraqi forces to fight ISIL militants and troops to protect them against rising security risks.