One dead after protesters storm Turkish military camp in north Iraq

A smoke rises from vehicles after protesters stormed a Turkish military camp near Dohuk, Iraq January 26, 2019. (Reuters)

One protester was killed and at least 10 others wounded when they stormed a Turkish military camp near Dohuk in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region on Saturday, burning two tanks and other vehicles, residents and Kurdish officials said.

Najib Saeed, the chief health official in the area, said it was not yet clear what caused the death. He said Turkish soldiers had shot at protesters and that the burning of vehicles and equipment had caused several explosions.

Turkey’s Defense Ministry wrote on Twitter: “An attack has occurred on one of the bases located in northern Iraq as a result of provocation by the PKK terrorist organization. There was partial damage to vehicles and equipment during the attack.”

“Necessary precautions are being taken regarding the incident,” the ministry said, without naming the base.

Turkish officials could not be reached for further comment.

Turkey carries out regular air raids near the border against the PKK insurgent group which has bases in northern Iraq and has fought a decades-long insurgency in Turkey.

A Kurdish official in the region of Dohuk said the crowd was demonstrating over a recent Turkish air raid that killed four civilians. He did not want to be named.

A second Kurdish official, who also did not give his name, said Turkish troops at the camp in Shiladze, east of Dohuk, had initially shot at the protesters and then left the camp.

Kurdish security forces are trying to control the situation, he said.

The surprise announcement last month that U.S. forces would withdraw from neighboring Syria, where they have been directing the fight against Islamic State, raised fears that Turkey would move against US-backed Kurdish forces which it views as terrorists.

Turkey says the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia is an extension of the PKK. Trump has threatened economic ruin for Turkey should it attack the YPG, however.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:58 - GMT 06:58
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