Rockets targeting Bashiqa army base kill one Turkish solider and wound a child, and drone drops explosives near US forces stationed at Erbil airport, officials say.

Ambulances rush to the site after the Erbil airport in northern Iraq was targeted by a drone, on April 14, 2021 in Erbil, Iraq.
Ambulances rush to the site after the Erbil airport in northern Iraq was targeted by a drone, on April 14, 2021 in Erbil, Iraq. (Ahsan Mohammed Ahmed Ahmed / AA)

A Turkish soldier has been killed and a child wounded after a rocket attack on a military compound in northern Iraq's Bashiqa region, the Turkish Defence Ministry said.

The ministry said in a statement on Wednesday 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 a child, it said.

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

Fuat Oktay, Turkey's vice president, said the attack will not go unanswered and "we will respond in kind."

Erbil airport targeted 

The news comes after a drone dropped explosives near US forces stationed at Erbil airport in northern Iraq earlier on Wednesday, Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) officials said, with no immediate reports of casualties.

"A drone charged with TNT targeted a coalition base at Erbil's airport," the KRG Interior Ministry said, adding that no one was hurt in the blast but a building was damaged. 

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which caused a loud explosion audible across the city.

It was the first known attack carried out by a drone against US 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.

READ MORE: Deadly rocket attack hits US base in northern Iraq

'Grand and regional escalation'

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, diplomatic sources said.

Former Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari, a prominent political figure in the region, meanwhile accused "a militia" of being behind the attack. 

"It is a grand & regional escalation," he wrote on Twitter.

Turkey has troops in Iraq both as part of a NATO contingent and a force against PKK terrorists in the north.

US troop withdrawal 

The United States last week committed to move all remaining combat forces from Iraq, although the two countries did not set a timeline in what would be the second withdrawal since the 2003 invasion.

The announcement came as the US resumed a "strategic dialogue" with the government of PM Mustafa al Kadhemi, who is seen as too close to Washington by Iraq's powerful pro-Iranian factions.

READ MORE: Why Iran is shielding the PKK in Iraq

Source: TRTWorld and agencies