Turkish troops shot and wounded three Iraqi civilians after hundreds of protesters attacked a Turkish military base in northern Iraq on Saturday, according to a senior security official in Duhuk province.
Civilians near the city of Duhuk in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region protested in front of a Turkish military base to condemn Turkish airstrikes against civilians in the north, the source said.
About 300 protesters stormed the Turkish military base in the town of al-Amadiya and set two military tanks on fire, the source said. Turkish troops opened fire and wounded three civilians, he said.
News footage shows two Turkish military vehicles set ablaze near the base, dark clouds of smoke rising, and protesters gathered near the Turkish military camp.
The security source spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to media. Al-Amadiya is 70 kilometers, or more than 43 miles, northeast of Duhuk.
Turkey has been bombing areas in Iraqi Kurdistan, claiming to target Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants. Its airstrikes killed 36 people in the Kurdish region in 2018, according to official statistics released by local authorities in the Kurdish region.
Turkey has long fought the PKK, an outlawed Kurdish group responsible for major terror attacks in Turkey as part of its bid for national ethnic autonomy. The European Union and the United States both have named the PKK a terrorist group.
The Turkish defense ministry acknowledged the incident in a tweet posted Saturday.
“In the northern Iraq there is an attack on a base as a result of PKK terror organizations provocation. There is partial damage on vehicles and equipment. Necessary precautions have been taken.” Turkish defense ministry said on its Twitter page.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking from Gaziantep, said that Turkish warplanes and drones dispersed all the attackers after the attack on the base, according Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency.