Attacks on US and Turkish bases in Iraq continue
In recent days, some flashes have illuminated the Iraqi night sky in two strategic locations: an explosion was reported in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region, while another concerned the military base of Bashiqa, not far from Mosul. In both cases, it was a matter of rockets or bombs most likely fired, at least as regards the Erbil episode, by a drone.
The explosions have once again highlighted a precarious security situation in Iraq, in which several international forces are present. Both in Kurdistan and Mosul, the US and Turkish targets were targeted.
It is certainly not the first time that such incidents have occurred in the Arab country. In February, the US military base located not far from Erbil airport was hit by several rockets. On 3 March, on the eve of Pope Francis’s visit, another base hosting US soldiers in the province of Al Anbar was hit by some missiles also fired from Iraqi territory.
A few days earlier, instead, raids ordered by Washington had targeted targets of pro-Shiite militias. Riots that represent the long wave of tensions originated from the raid of January 3, 2020, in which US forces killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, the architect of Tehran’s foreign policy in the region, in Baghdad. Since then, rocket launches towards US bases and American responses against Shiite militias, first suspected of actions against Washington targets in Iraq, have been regularly recorded.
The peculiarity of the episodes of the late Wednesday evening is the proximity of the raids. Shortly before midnight, an explosion occurred in Erbil, shortly after the attack on the Bashiqa base was recorded. In the latter case, Turkish targets were targeted. Ankara has several soldiers in the north of the country in an anti-Kurdish function.
According to local sources, a Turkish soldier was killed, while others were wounded. On the other hand, no casualties among the Americans in Erbil. But in the Kurdish capital, the tension still very high: the roads to the airport were closed last week, the same airport shot down for a few hours, one of the main ones in Iraq and the most important for the autonomous region.
The situation seems returned to normal, but more such actions are expected as Iraqi refuse this foreign presence on their territory. As reported by Rudaw TV, the Prime Minister of the autonomous region of Kurdistan, Masrour Barzani, immediately after the attacks had a telephone conversation with the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, in which condemnation was expressed for actions defined as “terrorist” to the detriment of Ankara’s objectives.
Barzani himself on Twitter condemned the launch of rockets towards the bases of Erbil and Bashiqa: “These latest attacks – he said in a statement – are nothing more than an evident attempt to undermine our internal security and our cooperation with the international coalition.”