19 Sep 2023, 00:04

3 dead in drone strike on Iraqi Kurdistan airfield: statement

ARBAT, Iraq, Sept  18, 2023 (BSS/AFP) - Three members of Iraqi Kurdistan's

anti-terrorism forces were killed Monday in a drone strike that hit an airfield
near Sulaimaniyah, the autonomous northern region's anti-terrorism services
said in a statement.

"Unfortunately the bombing killed three of our Peshmerga comrades from the
anti-terrorist services" and wounded three others, the statement said, without
identifying those behind the attack.

The drone strike targeted anti-terror forces at the Arbat airfield,
southeast of Sulaimaniyah, which is mainly used by crop-spraying aircraft.

A "thorough investigation" has been launched into this "terrorist crime
committed by foreign servants and local spies", the anti-terrorism services
"To protect the investigation, we will preserve the confidentiality of
information. In the future we will reveal the truth to the people of
Kurdistan," it added.

Attacks against Kurdistan's security forces are rare.

On Sunday, a Turkish drone strike in northern Iraq killed at least four
members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), including a senior official, the
Iraqi Kurdish authorities said.

Turkey has set up dozens of military bases in Iraqi Kurdistan over the past
25 years to fight against the group.

In April 2023, Iraq accused Turkey of carrying out a "bombardment" in the
vicinity of the airport at Sulaimaniyah, Kurdistan's second-largest city.

The strike took place while US soldiers and the commander of the Syrian
Democratic Forces, a US-allied coalition dominated by Kurds, were at the

The Turkish army rarely comments on its strikes in Iraq but routinely
conducts military operations against PKK rear bases in autonomous Kurdistan as
well as Sinjar district.

Iran has also carried out strikes on Iraqi Kurdistan.

A year ago, Tehran repeatedly bombed positions of various Iranian Kurdish
opposition groups accused of involvement in protests that erupted in Iran after
the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian Kurdish woman.
Bafel Jalal Talabani, head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in
power in Sulaimaniyah, condemned Monday's "terrorist attack".

"In the face of repeated violations, it is the duty of all political
parties in Kurdistan to face security threats and challenges together, and to
protect Kurdistan from its enemies," he said in a statement.



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