Turkey kills 32 ISIL militants in Iraq after tank hit
MOSULSome 32 militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were killed in a Turkish Armed Force operation in Bashiqa near Mosul on April 19 after the militants launched an attack on a tank belonging to the Turkish army in the Bashiqa training camp.
Ten militants were killed in the operation and 22 others were killed while they attempted to escape, while a building belonging to the militants was blown up, reported Doğan News Agency, citing unnamed Turkish military sources.
Undated footage, claiming to display the alleged attack, was posted on the ISIL-affiliated Amaq news agency on April 19.
The militants claimed that they hit the tank with a guided missile. The ammunition hit the palette of the tank, Turkish broadcaster NTV reported.
No casualties were reported in the attack.
Turkey sent about 600 troops to the Bashiqa camp on Dec. 4, 2015, with the stated aim of training an Iraqi militia to fight the jihadist group, but the move created tensions with the Baghdad government.
Following reactions both from Iraq and the U.S., Turkey pulled out a significant number of its troops and tanks from the camp.
The camp has been targeted by ISIL more than once.
Turkish artillery and warplanes struck ISIL positions in northern Iraq after a Turkish soldier was killed on March 26 during a gun battle between ISIL militants and Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces. The TSK said in a statement that a Katyusha projectile fired from an ISIL location landed in the camp at around 3 p.m.
“Due to projectiles that fell on the base, our hero comrade has been martyred and one hero comrade was slightly injured,” said the statement.
Turkish forces killed 18 militants from ISIL after jihadists tried to sneak into the camp late on Jan. 7.
Five Turkish soldiers sustained injuries on Dec. 27, 2015, in an ISIL attack on the camp and on Dec. 16, 2015, four soldiers were injured when ISIL militants fired Katyusha projectiles at the camp.