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Turkey says soldier killed in rocket attack in northern Iraq

·2-min read

ANKARA (Reuters) -A Turkish soldier was killed and a child was wounded after a rocket attack on a military compound in northern Iraq's Bashiqa region, the Turkish Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.

The ministry said in a statement that three rockets were launched towards a military base in the region and that one had hit it. The other two fell into a nearby village, wounding the boy, it said.

The ministry added that an armed drone had been launched and that the "necessary measures" had been taken.

Omer Celik, spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party, said the perpetrators "would pay the price in kind."

The news comes after a drone dropped explosives near U.S. forces stationed at Erbil airport in northern Iraq earlier on Wednesday, Kurdish officials said, with no immediate reports of casualties.

It was the first known attack carried out by a drone against U.S. forces in Erbil, amid a steady stream of rocket attacks on bases hosting American forces and the embassy in Baghdad that Washington blames on Iran-backed militias.

Shortly before the attack in Erbil, Iraqi officials said at least two rockets had landed on and near a base west of the city that hosts Turkish forces.

Turkey's foreign ministry later said Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke to Iraqi Kurdish Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, adding Barzani had briefed Cavusoglu about the attacks in Erbil and Bashiqa, and offered condolences for the soldier's death.

Turkey has troops in Iraq both as part of a NATO contingent and a force against Kurdish separatist militants in the north.

The Iran-backed militias oppose both the presence of the United States and Turkey and demand a full withdrawal of all foreign troops.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Alistair Bell)