Three members of an anti-terror unit affiliated with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) were killed, and three others wounded, in a drone strike allegedly carried out by Turkey on the agricultural airport of Arbat in Iraqi Kurdistan’s Sulaymaniyah (Silêmanî) on Monday.
“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,” stated Bafel Jalal Talabani, President of the PUK. He further urged for a unified response to these security challenges and for the Iraqi government to uphold its duty to protect its airspace and territory.
The incident is under investigation by the Kurdistan’s General Directorate of Counter-Terrorism (CTG). “We will punish any spy who has helped the enemy, take revenge on our martyrs, and not allow their blood to be wasted,” the CTG announced, adding that they are coordinating the investigation with coalition forces and international representatives in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.
Amed Dicle, a prominent Kurdish journalist and contributor to MedyaNews, indicated that Turkey could be behind the attack, suggesting that it could be a message from Turkey, indicating their capability to strike at will.
This latest incident follows a helicopter crash in March that led to the deaths of nine members of a joint PUK-Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) anti-terror squad. While initially attributed to adverse weather conditions, there are unconfirmed reports implicating Turkish involvement.