Apparently there's a seven year dispute between the Iraqi central government and Turkey over the Turkish base at Bashiqa (near Mosul) located at about 150 km from the Turkish border. Seemingly there are about 150 Turkish soldiers there. I'm not sure if they have an air strip, although the distance to Turkey may probably be covered just by helicopters.

The base came under (apparently unclaimed) rocket attacks this summer, but surely they were not the first ones. The (Iran-backed) Shia militias have vowed to evict the Turks on more than one occasion. The level of opposition expressed by the central Iraqi government appears to have ebbed and flowed, but it seems strong again as of mid 2022. Notably Bashiqa appears to be the only Turkish base in Iraq not in KRG territory, which is probably why the Iraqi government complains about it more often than about the rest.

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So why doesn't Iraq just blockade the Turkish base at Bashiqa, if they really want it gone? Even if Turkey can resupply it by air, at least that would send a stronger message Iraq means it gone. So why doesn't Iraq do this? (Or did they?)

1 Answer 1


Iraq simply ranks highly in the Fragile State Index. Basically, it's a weak state. It's hard for them to pull off such a feat. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Fragile_States_Index

  • It looks like a fairly small base, with only 150 soldiers, not sure this is the main reason for not blockading it.
    – Alexei
    Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 8:17
  • How does a high FSI rating correlate to an inability (or unwillingness) to blockade a single military base? It's not clear to me how this answers the question.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 9:05
  • 1
    OK, the base may look small, but what it the rest of Turkish military retaliates for removing it? Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 17:41
  • Trying to interdict all supplies and keeping the soldiers imprisoned would certainly provide retaliation. And setting up a token blockade would arguably be a waste of time and resources when there are alternatives (diplomacy, etc): they certainly could add some checkpoints outside, but that would require resources and risk escalation. Maybe they prefer de-escalation, thinking that if the region seems peaceful, the Turks will go away, and filling it with Iraqi troops would not give that impression.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 10:07

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