Drone attack on Sulaimani’s Arbat airport sparks local and international reactions

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — The recent drone attack on Sulaimani’s Arbat agricultural airport has drawn a mix of reactions from local and international authorities, as the investigation into the incident is underway. The attack, which claimed the lives of three members of the Kurdistan Counter Terrorism Group (CTG) and injured three others, has raised concerns over regional security and sovereignty.

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani expressed his sorrow and concern over the incident, emphasizing the need to uphold the sovereignty of Kurdistan and Iraq. In a statement, PM Barzani stated, “We condemn any violation of the sovereignty of Kurdistan and Iraq and all illegal actions that disrupt the security and stability of the Kurdistan Region.”

He also called for a thorough investigation into the attack and the prompt disclosure of facts surrounding the incident.

While the KRG refrained from explicitly assigning blame, Yehia Rasool, the military spokesperson for the Iraqi Prime Minister, asserted on Twitter that the attack was carried out by Turkey.

Rasool described the act as a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and an affront to peace and security in the region and the world, emphasizing that it contravenes international law and the principles of the United Nations Charter.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) also strongly condemned the attack, urging an end to recurring infringements on Iraqi sovereignty. In a statement, UNAMI emphasized the necessity of addressing security concerns through dialogue and diplomacy rather than military strikes.

President of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Bafel Talabani, strongly condemned the “terrorist” attack, calling it a direct border violation and part of a scheme to disrupt peace.

“This criminal act is an open trespassing of the border of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq and is part of the conspiracy aimed at disturbing the peace and stability of the Kurdistan Region, especially the border of Sulaymaniyah province,” Talabani said in a statement.

Talabani added that the Kurds, who have been steadfast in leading the charge against terrorism and have made substantial sacrifices, “refuse to be the victims of such acts of terror.”

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