An attempted attack by DAESH terrorists on Bashiqa camp north of Mosul in Northern Iraq, where Turkish military experts are training Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) peshmerga units, was prevented on Tuesday.
After the attack was prevented, Turkish artillery units pounded DAESH targets near the border.
Turkish soldiers deployed in the Bashiqa camp deterred a DAESH attack in January, killing 18 terrorists. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan then said that the attack was a justification for the long-debated deployment of Turkish troops.
"I have been told that some 18 DAESH terrorists who tried to sneak into the Bashiqa camp were killed. The attack shows how important the steps taken regarding the Bashiqa decision are. The troops there are ready for anything at any given time. Iraq asked Turkey to train its soldiers and they are the ones showing us the place for the base," he said.
The attack took place while debates concerning the presence of recently deployed Turkish troops at the Bashiqa camp in Northern Iraq were continuing. Ankara has persistently emphasized its willingness to take part in the fight against DAESH.
On Dec. 4, 2015, 150 Turkish soldiers equipped with heavy weapons arrived on the outskirts of DAESH-held Mosul in Northern Iraq to train local Iraqi forces. Baghdad then demanded Ankara withdrawal the Turkish soldiers. Turkish officials responded by saying that Iraq's reaction was bizarre, saying that the troops were sent to Bashiqa in December 2014 at the request of Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.
Turkey said the 150 soldiers and up to 25 tanks were stationed at Bashiqa to protect servicemen training Iraqi volunteers to fight DAESH. The training mission has been in operation since March of last year and is not assigned combat duties.