ISIL drone attacks Turkish troops in Bashiqa camp
Uğur ERGAN / ANKARA
AA PhotoIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants attacked Turkish troops in the Bashiqa military camp in northern Iraq with artillery fire and an unmanned drone on Oct. 9.
Turkish howitzers responded to the attack with fire and destroyed ISIL targets, while the drone was downed with a Stringer rocket.
ISIL seized the drone from the Iraqi military, security officials speaking anonymously told daily Hürriyet.
Meanwhile, in the first stage Ankara is reportedly not considering a land operation into Mosul as part of a planned offensive against ISIL, instead preparing to open its airbases to coalition forces and providing support with the Turkish Air Forces.
Turkish troops in the Bashiqa camp could lend support to the Mosul offensive with Fırtına howitzers, sources said, adding that the U.S. did not object to artillery support by Turkish troops in Bashiqa.
After the liberation of Mosul, the closure of the Bashiqa military camp is an option, they said, adding that Ankara is pushing for the nearly 3,000 Sunni fighters trained in the Bashiqa camp to take part in the offensive. Talks on a military operation in Tel Afar are still ongoing, sources said.
An unspecified number of Turkish troops in the Bashiqa camp outside ISIL-controlled Mosul in northern Iraq are involved in training Iraqi fighters who plan to recapture the city.
Baghdad has demanded the immediate withdrawal of the forces, which it said Turkey had “illegally” sent into Iraq