Turkish soldiers (RBC)

Bashiqa –  The Turkish army has built a base in a Yezidi town in northern Iraq. An EzidiPress correspondent has confirmed the arrival of more than 130 Turkish soldiers and commanders who have set up their base in the Christian-Yezidi town Bashiqa. According to information obtained, a Turkish bataillon crossed the Turkish-Kurdish border into Iraq on Friday evening. Bashiqa is close to the Iraqi metropolis of Mosul, a stronghold of the terrorist militia “Islamic State”.  The two Yezidi-influenced towns Bashiqa and Bahzan in the northeast of Mosul have been under the control of IS for months.

Reuters reports, citing two U.S. security officials, that Turkey´s decision to deploy soldiers has not been made as part of the global anti-IS coalition. The coalition, however, had been informed in advance about the movement. Rather, it must be assumed that the Turkish government has reached an agreement with the Kurdish leadership. Turkish special forces of the notorious “Bordo Bereliler” – known as “Kurd butchers” among Kurds from Turkey – have been training Peshmerga troops. The Kurdish government under the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) maintains close economic ties with Turkey. Quite often, its affiliated media and people called for the election of the Erdogan party AKP.

Speaking to EzidiPress, Yezidi representatives expressed criticism concerning the arrival of Turkish soldiers. The creation of the Turkish base was against “all reason”, said a Yezidi Peshmerga who wished to remain anonymous. The Turkish air force has in recent months been bombing PKK positions in northern Iraq – where thousands of Yezidis were rescued by PKK fighters and had sought refuge. “Where were the bombs and soldiers of Turkey in August when DAESH (Arabic acronym for IS) overran us”, a Yezidi woman who had to flee from Shingal complained.

For weeks, there have been fierce clashes between the Turkish military and Kurdish fighters of the PKK in Kurdish cities located in the east of Turkey. Numerous civilians have been killed as a result of those clashes. Several cities were sealed off by the Turkish military.

Further background information is yet not known. It is understood that the Turkish army is supposed to train the Peshmerga. The Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has called for the immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops from Iraq, as reported by the Iraqi news channel Al-Iraqiya. Iraq´s Interior Ministry also called on Turkey “to respect the sovereignity of Iraq and to immediately leave Iraqi territory”.