Bashiqa (Kurdish: Başîk, Arabic: بعشيقة, Ba'shiqah, Syriac: ܒܝܬ ܥܫܝܩܐ) is a town in the Mosul District of the Ninawa Governorate in northern Iraq. Its name comes from the Assyrian Neo-Aramaic words "Bet" and "Ashiqa," meaning "House of lovers." Bashiqa's residents are mostly Yazidis and Shabaks, with a minority of Assyrians, and Arab Muslims. Bashiqa is famous for its olive trees, olive oil, and soap. It is also famous for its onion, pickles and arak. It used to be a tourist destination for the locals in Mosul and Iraqis in general. Bashiqa is surrounded by farms of olives all around the town and there is a small mountain to the north. The Yazidis in Bashiqa and its twin village Bahzani speak Arabic as their mother language.
Bashiqa is official Iraqi territory but is controlled and claimed by the Kurdistan Regional Government since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. According to Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution, a referendum should decide whether it should continue to be managed by the central government or the KRG. The status of the city is still not fully understood. According to reports by Human Rights Watch (2011), UNHCR (2007) and other human rights organizations the townspeople are forced and threatened with violence if they should not vote for inclusion of the city in the Kurdistan Region.
In June 2014, ISIL militia took over the city, and changed the name to Du'a city. Yazidi civilians fled the city in 2014. The region has seen fighting between ISIL and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, but was under ISIL control in August 2015.
Turkish soldiers were deployed in a training mission in the Mosul District in 2015, without authorization of Baghdad, but with permission of Iraqi Kurdistan. However, Iraq called for help from Turkey when the Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider Al-Abadi, spoke at a conference during his visit to Turkey in December 25, 2014.
On 7 November 2016, during the Battle of Mosul, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters launched a massive offensive to liberate the town from ISIL control. Peshmerga had surrounded the town for two weeks. There were believed to be 100 to 200 ISIL militants left. Commander Kaka Hama said the Peshmerga descended from three fronts, and that coalition airstrikes played a large role in the assault. In the early afternoon, it was reported that Bashiqa was liberated and that the Peshmerga were in full control.
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