PUK co-leader says Kurdistan flag ‘redline’ as PMF supporters burn the flag

File – PUK Co-leader Lahur Sheikh Jangi

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Co-leader Lahur Sheikh Jangi said on Saturday that the Kurdistan flag is a “redline”, after supporters of Hashid al-Shaabi burned the flag as they stormed a Kurdish party’s office.

Footage circulated on social media showing dozens of supporters of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) stormed and torched the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) headquarters in Baghdad.

They also stood on the Kurdistan Flag and burned posters as they were storming the KDP headquarters.

“We are very disturbed that the Kurdistan flag was burned. Thousands of our brave people sacrificed themselves to protect it. This flag is a symbol of coexistence, peace and prosperity,” the PUK co-leader said in a tweet.

“Any group or side that is upset with a person or a party are not allowed to touch the sacred things of our nation. The Kurdistan flag is a redline,” he added.

“The burning of political party headquarters is not the correct way to express disagreements.”

Hashid al-Shaabi leader Muhammad al-Basri told Shafaaq News that the group condemned the burning of any headquarters but that people could not be controlled.

“The Popular Mobilization Forces has nothing to do with the burning of the KDP headquarters in Baghdad. Those who did that are the supporters of Hashid [al-Shaabi], who reacted with sympathy,” he said.

“Whoever speaks against a security institution … blood of martyrs must expect such reactions,” he added.

A KDP official said the federal government had failed to provide necessary protection for the party’s office in Baghdad.

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