Security forces should unite efforts to prevent acts of sabotage: Region president

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani (file)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani said on Thursday that all security forces in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region should unite efforts to prevent “all acts of sabotage perpetrated by saboteur groups”.

The Region’s president said a group of saboteurs launched six rockets from Bartila area in Nineveh province toward a base housing U.S.-led Coalition troops in Erbil on Wednesday night, but caused no casualties.

“We consider the attack as an act of aggression against the people of Kurdistan Region and the allies in the war against terrorism,” Barzani said in a statement.

“We believe it is imperative that all security forces in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, the Peshmerga Forces, Iraqi army and Popular Mobilization Forces come together in joint efforts to prevent all acts of sabotage perpetrated by saboteur groups.”

Barzani added that all sides must increase their efforts to bring about stability amid the dire economic situation which has gripped Iraq and the entire world due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Those who perpetrate such acts of sabotage are the enemies of Iraq, thus, all Iraqi parties must confront them together and bring them to justice,” he continued.

He further said the Region is ready to support and cooperate with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

The Kurdistan Region’s ministry of interior said in a statement that the rockets were launched from Bartila between the villages of Sheikh Amir and Tarjila in Nineveh province, which is under the jurisdiction of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) 30th Brigade.

The Kurdistan Region’s Counter-Terrorism Service blamed the attack on PMF militias.

Meanwhile, the Nineveh Operations Command of Hashid al-Shaabi said in a statement that it was surprised by what it called “hasty reactions” to the rocket attack in Erbil.

It further said the area where the rockets were launched is considered to be “an inhabited void area” located within a triangle surrounded by the Iraqi military, PMF and Peshmerga forces.

Reuters cited a security source as saying that an Iraqi army brigadier general and commander of PMF’s 30th Brigade were arrested over the rocket attack.

Iraqi Joint Operations Command blamed a “terrorist group” for the rocket attack, saying the rockets were launched from the Turjala valley in Hamdaniyah district in Nineveh province.

Reuters cited the Iraqi military as saying that the local commanders responsible for securing the launch area had been detained pending an investigation.

*This story was updated at 03:24 p.m. EBL time

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