Turkey’s President Erdoğan: Attack On Iraqi Military Base Justifies Turkish Deployment

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his party members at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey,  Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011. Erdogan said for the first time that Syria's president must step down over the country's brutal crackdown on dissent, ratcheting up the pressure on the increasingly isolated Bashar Assad. In his harshest words yet,  Ergodan reminded Assad of the bloody end of the Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, as well as past dictators, including Adolf Hitler.(ddp images/AP Photo)An attack by Islamic State militants on a military base in northern Iraq shows Turkey’s decision to deploy troops there was justified, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul that 18 Islamic State militants were killed but no Turkish soldiers were harmed in the attack at the Bashiqa base in Iraq’s Nineveh province.

Turkey deployed a force protection unit of around 150 troops last month citing heightened security risks near Bashiqa, where its troops are training an Iraqi militia to fight Islamic State, and stirring a diplomatic row.

Erdogan said the problems at the base arose in the wake of tensions between Russia and Turkey, and said that Turkey was acting in line with international law.