SULAIMANI (ESTA) — On behalf of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) President, Bafel Talabani, a senior delegation from Kurdistan’s Counter-Terrorism Group (CTG) attended the funeral of nine fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who lost their lives in a helicopter crash in the Kurdistan Region’s Duhok.
A mass funeral ceremony was held on Wednesday in Rojava’s Hasakah to mark the loss of the Kurdish SDF fighters who died in the incident on March 15, 2023, in chamanke district of eastern Duhok province.
The ceremony was attended by the Commander-in-chief of the SDF, co-chair of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), senior officials of western Kurdistan (Rojava), tribal leaders, and a military delegation of the PUK’s CTG from the Kurdistan Region.
The CTG delegation was led by Wahab Halabjai, the director general of the forces, accompanied by dozens of high-ranking commanders.
On behalf of President @Bafeltalabani , we are in ROJAVA to participate in the funeral of martyr Sharvan and his comrades#CTG #YAT #LEXOMAN_PARASTIN #ROJAVA #KURDISTAN pic.twitter.com/SKpEIexVGL
— Wahab Halabjaiy (@wahabhalabjaiy) March 22, 2023
On March 17, the SDF announced that nine of its fighters who belonged to its Counter-Terrorism Units (YAT) lost their lives following the crash of two helicopters on March 15 in Duhok.
“While the two helicopters carrying our group of fighters were on their way to Sulaimani city on the evening of March 15, 2023, they crashed due to bad weather conditions, leading to the martyrdom of nine of our fighters, including the commander of the YAT forces Shervan Kobani,” it said.
“The fighters were traveling to Sulaimani within the framework of a security and military exchange in order to boost YAT’s security and fighting abilities,” it added.
Following the SDF’s announcement of the helicopter crash, PUK President Bafel Talabani expressed his grief condolences, saying he was “extremely saddened” by the news.
PUK President Bafel Talabani sent out his deepest condolences to YAT/SDF after nine members including a senior commander of anti-terror units of #Rojava were killed in Duhok’s helicopter crash last Wed., adding that he is “extremely saddened” #Esta #TwitterKurds #Kurdistan pic.twitter.com/kkLH1xuWaz
— Esta (@Esta__English) March 18, 2023
“The anti-terror units (YAT) played an effective role in the fight against ISIS militants in Rojava and guarded the holy land of Kurdistan against terrorism, and left a legacy of great sovereignty,” Talabani stated in a statement.
“The PUK is proud of the glorious history, that the Counter-Terrorism Forces (CTG) struggled alongside the Rojava’s Counter-Terrorism Units (YAT) in order to protect the Kurdistan soil, recording heroic stories,” he added.