Talabani discusses attack with EU representative

Kurdistan deputy prime minister denies Turkish claims about airport incident

ERBIL, September 21 — Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani has refuted statements made by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the presence of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and People’s Protection Units (YPG) elements at the Arabat Agricultural Airport. He affirmed that all casualties and injuries from the incident were members of the Peshmerga forces.

Talabani’s office released a statement which read:

There were no other forces at the Arabat Airport except for the Counter-Terrorism forces. This is evidenced by the casualties and injuries from the incident, all of whom are heroic Peshmerga members belonging to the Counter-Terrorism forces. There can be no justification for the attack.

During my meeting with Mr. Torkild Byg, the European Union Representative in the Kurdistan region, we discussed the incident as a serious development in which Kurdish and official Iraqi forces were targeted. These forces have been key allies and collaborators with the international community in the fight against terrorism for the past two decades.

We have called on the Iraqi government, its allies, and the European Union to take practical steps to protect Iraqi sovereignty, prevent the recurrence of such violations, and put an end to military attacks carried out on the territories of Kurdistan and Iraq.