Senior Kurdish officials condemn burning of Kurdistan flag, attack on KDP office

Supporters of Iraq’s Hashed al-Shaabi burn down the Kurdistan Democratic Party headquarters Baghdad, October 17, 2020. (AFP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Senior Kurdish officials on Saturday condemned burning of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) headquarters in Baghdad, after Hashid al-Shaabi supporters stormed and torched the office.

Dozens of Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) supporters stormed the KDP’s fifth branch in Baghdad earlier on Saturday and set the building on fire.

Footage circulated on social media showing a group of the PMF supporters stood on the Kurdistan Flag and burned other posters while storming the KDP office.

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani said an outlaw group burned the KDP headquarters in Baghdad and the Kurdistan flag and pictures of Kurdish symbols were burned while the PMF flag was raised on the building.

“We condemn that attack and consider it as an act of sabotage,” Barzani said in a statement.

“An attack on a party’s headquarters which was a main force contributed to toppling dictatorship in Iraq is an attack on the history of the struggle of Kurds and Iraqi forces,” he added.

“it is a threat on peaceful coexistence and undermines societal and political peace, and is inconsistent with the principles of the constitution, democracy and human rights.”

The Region’s president also called on the Iraqi authorities to launch “an immediate and serious investigation” into the attack and bring perpetrators to justice.

Separately, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani said the burning of Kurdistan flag which is a symbol of Kurdish people and the attack on KDP office “are unacceptable”.

“It is an attack on all the Kurdistani headquarters in the Iraqi capital,” Talabani said in a statement.

“I strongly condemn this act and call on our Iraqi allies and friends in Baghdad to speak against this disrespect, which is a big violation of law and constitution,” he stated.

Meanwhile, KDP leader Masoud Barzani denounced the attack on the party’s office and Kurdistan flag, saying “such cowardly attacks do not diminish the Kurds’ position and values of Kurdish people”.

“Those who want to attack KDP and insult the values of Kurdistan’s people will pay the price,” Barzani reiterated, calling on the federal government to take necessary measures against the aggressors.

Hashid al-Shaabi, for its part, said in a statement that the group rejected the use of violence and sabotage, calling its supporters to preserve prestige of the state and societal peace.

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