February 16, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9187

Pro-Iranian Iraqi Group Claims Rocket Attack On Turkish Outpost On Turkey-Iraq Border

February 16, 2021
Iran, Iraq, Turkey | Special Dispatch No. 9187

On February 15, 2021, Ashab Al-Kahf (People of the Cave), an armed Iraqi Shi'ite group loyal to Iran, claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on a Turkish rear military outpost on the Turkey-Iraq border. The claim of responsibility published on the group's Telegram channel states that the attack reflects the group's capabilities and that Turkey should completely withdraw its forces from Iraq. The statement does not include details about the number of rockets fired or the damage caused to the outpost.[1]

The attack was carried out in the context of the recent military activity in the region conducted by Turkey against the forces of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and the concern raised by Iraqi elements close to Iran that Turkey intends to expand its operations in Iraq. This concern has led to threats from several Shi'ite militias, among them Ashab Al-Kahf, that if Turkey does not withdraw its forces, they will take military action against it.[2]

The Ashab Al-Kahf statement reads: "We claim responsibility for the rocket attack today on the rear logistic outpost of the Turkish forces stationed inside Iraqi territory near the city of Midyat on the border with Turkey. The commanders of this miserable army should know that it is easier to outflank the forces of the Turkish enemy than to perpetrate any ground assault against any concentration of miserable military forces. You should also know that the significance of an attack on your rear outposts is that [if we can attack these positions, think how] much easier it is for us to attack the military forces stationed deep in Iraqi territory. We know our country better than the foreigners do. The attack on the target was […] adjacent to the city of Idil in Turkey."

The statement further says: "No obstacle will prevent the Islamic resistance in Iraq from defending oppressed Iraq. If the aggressive Turkish activities increase, then the next message will be much bigger and more powerful."

Also included in the statement is a threat to the leader of the Kurds, Masoud Barzan, and his supporters, who are perceived by Ashab Al-Kahf as collaborators with the Turks.

Prior to the claim of responsibility, the group also published a short video clip depicting the launch of the rocket attack at the Turkish outpost.[3]


[1], February 15, 2021.

[3], February 15, 2021.


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