As the Turkish government media boasted on Monday that the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT) conducted an airstrike that killed four with a ‘long-range drone’, 275 km from the Turkish border in the province of Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), representatives of political parties condemned the attack in a mass protest staged in the city of Sulaymaniyah.
Four were killed in a vehicle as they were traveling near the town of Kelar on Friday, including Farhad Sibli, a deputy co-chair of the Executive Council of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES).
A large crowd of people gathered in front of the forensic medicine institution in Kelar in protest and to attend the funeral procession for Sibli.
Jumaa Karim, a representative of the Kurdistan Society Freedom Movement (Tavgeri Azadi) said:
“We strongly condemn this act of terrorism. We call on everybody to not remain silent. We must stand together against these attacks.”
“This Turkish drone strike on the soil of South Kurdistan, in the Garmian region, is not the first one and won’t be the last, but there is something we should ask: Why have these attacks occurred here in Garmian? In the past, the attacks were along the borders, but now they arrived here in Garmian. It arrived at a place where the Baath regime could not fly its helicopters in daylight to attack the Peshmerga and civilians. But unfortunately, today we see Turkish drones bombarding civilians only 500 metres from Kelar.”
“Today, we want to tell everyone that there is no room for treason in Garmian. There is no room for treason in South Kurdistan, particularly in Garmian.”
Addressing the crowd, Avin Sweid, a representative of the AANES, said:
“This place, where we stand right now, is a place of brave people; a place of sacrifices. Thousands of people sacrificed their lives here in this place. Unfortunately, people from Rojava, when they came here for medical treatment and to visit their families, they have faced brutal attacks. Through such attacks, they want to break our will. It doesn’t matter if you are from the south, or the west, or the north of Kurdistan, they do not distinguish between us.”
Goran Gumari, representative of the Kurdistan Toiler’s Party (Parti Zahmatkeshan Kurdistan), condemned the attack and called on both Iraqi and KRG authorities not to remain silent. He said:
“We, as the Garmian branch of the Kurdistan Toiler’s Party, condemn this terrorist act. This is a clear violation of Iraqi airspace and international laws. It took place in Kurdistan, in the Garmian region. We urge the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government not to remain silent, to speak up against this act of terror by the occupiers and our nation’s enemy. They should be disabled so they can take no further action.”
After the addresses, the funeral procession for Sibli set off towards the Semelka border crossing between KRI and northeast Syria (Rojava) for his remains to be buried in Sibli’s hometown.