Kurdish journalist Amed Dicle said in his Webcast that there were local reports of ‘explosions’ at a strategic Turkish base in Iraqi Kurdistan on Friday, and Turkey has not not provided information on the incident due to a secrecy policy concerning overseas operations of the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MİT).
Dicle said that the Turkish base located in a village near the town of Shiladze (Sheladiz), has been known to be operated by the MIT.
Turkey’s latest incursion in Iraqi Kurdistan was launched on the 17th of April, reportedly not from the north, but from the Bamarni-Amedi strip on the south, and across Shiladze.
Explaining on a picture of the village and the base, Dicle said that the mountain visible in the background was Kurazhar (Kurêjaro), and that the low mountain pass seen on the picture was one that provided direct access to the Zap valley, where the Turkish military operation has been going on since the 17th of April.
“There’s a Turkish ban on reporting involving incidents and casualties concerning foreign operations of the MIT. Earlier, there had been news reports about two MIT officers being killed in Libya, leading to indictment of some journalists.”
“Now, what’s the significance of this MIT base? This place is actually the entrance to the Zap valley (…) We have an angle visible over there. It provides direct access to Zap. It’s incredibly important for Turkey to have a MIT base there, because they can both conduct electronic surveillance, and recruit locals at the same time.
He also added that the presence of the MIT base was common knowledge for the locals for some time now.
The Shiladze base
The Turkish base in Shiladze had been stormed by angry Kurdish protestors in January 2019 over Turkish bombardments that left at least four dead.
While the protestors set fire to tanks and equipment, Turkish troops opened fire, killing a thirteen-year-old child and a 60-year-old-man. The troops reportedly abandoned the base temporarily after protests.
Shiladze, a town of some 40,000 people, is also one of the major points of departure for illegal migrants in Iraqi Kurdistan, according to a Reuters report.