FILE - A tank is seen outside a Turkish military observation point in the mountains of the northern Iraqi region of Dohuk.
January 08, 2016 5:24 AM
Turkish troops on a training mission in northern Iraq have successfully fought off an attack by Islamic State fighters, Turkish officials said Friday.
At least 17 Islamic State militants were killed in the late Thursday clashes at the Bashiqa military base in Nineveh province, according to the officials.
Around 150 Turkish troops were deployed to the base to help train local Iraqi fighters to eventually retake the nearby town of Mosul, which is held by Islamic State.
Iraq's central government, which does not have a major presence in the area, has strongly objected to the Turkish deployment, saying it is a violation of its sovereignty.
FILE - A Turkish military armoured personnel carrier drives past a small patrol base high in the mountains of Cukurca near the Iraqi border in southeastern Turkey.
Turkey last month acknowledged a "miscommunication" with Baghdad over the deployment, and has since relocated some of the fighters. But Baghdad is demanding a complete withdrawal, and has even threatened military action.
The U.S., which is leading a separate anti-IS coalition in Iraq, last month urged Turkey to take steps "to de-escalate tensions with Iraq, including by continuing to withdraw Turkish military forces."
The Bashiqa camp also came under attack by IS militants last month, killing four Turkish soldiers.