Turkey Account of IS Clashes Challenged

Turkey Account of IS Clashes ChallengedTurkey Account of IS Clashes Challenged

Turkey’s President Erdogan has said that Turkish forces and a Sunni militia killed 18 IS militants in northern Iraq, a claim the Iraqi military denies. Erdogan also defended the contentious Turkish deployment in Iraq.

The Iraqi military on Friday denied reports that Turkish forces fighting alongside a Sunni militia had clashed with the so-called “Islamic State” militant group in Iraq’s Nineveh province.

“The joint operations command denies there was a terrorist attack on the position of Turkish forces in Bashiqa by the terrorist Daesh recently,” Iraqi state television reported, referring to the militant group by an Arabic acronym, Deustche Welle reported.

It “denies what was relayed in some media outlets from the Turkish president about clashing between the Turkish forces inside Iraqi territory and the terrorist Daesh whether in Bashiqa or any other areas,” state TV added. The statement from the Iraqi military challenges Ankara’s account of a lethal engagement with the militant group in northern Iraq, where Turkey deployed a unit of some 150 troops in December to protect a training camp near Bashiqa.

“Eighteen members of the Daesh terror organization who wanted to infiltrate Bashiqa were neutralized,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Friday.