ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – A top Kurdish official on Tuesday said the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) did not expect the Turkish airstrikes which targeted Shingal Mountain in the west of Mosul.
Turkish warplanes launched a series of airstrikes on Shingal Mountain in the Kurdistan Region as well as shelling the town of Derik (al-Malikiyah) and Qarachokh Mountain, located in the northeast of Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava).
The strikes were aimed at the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters and affiliate groups in Shingal, and the People’s Protection Units (YPG) bases in Rojava.
The bombardment killed five Peshmerga and injured nine on Mount Shingal believed to be a friendly fire by Turkey.
The airstrikes also killed one PKK-affiliate group fighter in Shingal, 20 YPG fighters in Rojava, and wounded 18 more in the same area.
“It was a surprise,” the Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) Masrour Barzani told The New York Times on Tuesday regarding the Turkish airstrikes.
“This was the first time they have been bombing there,” Barzani continued.
“They had been mostly bombing border areas,” he added, referring to Qandil Mountain which is the stronghold of the PKK located on the Kurdistan Region-Turkey border.
“We asked for some clarification but have not received any answers yet,” Barzani explained. “I hope on the Turkish side it was a mistake.”
The Chancellor also pointed the blame on the PKK in Shingal for the airstrikes.
“The PKK is the reason for all of these problems,” Barzani stated. “They are the reason the Turks are bombing.”
“It is not a matter of whether we like it or not. The PKK is dragging the Turks in,” the Chancellor emphasized.
Following the airstrikes, the spokesperson of the KRG’s Peshmerga Ministry issued a statement, declaring the bombardment of Peshmerga is “unacceptable.”
The Ministry also blamed the attack on the PKK in the area and urged the group to withdraw.
Additionally, the Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi condemned the attack and criticized Turkey for violating the sovereignty of Iraq. He warned Ankara not to repeat such incidents.
The spokesperson for the US State Department Mark Toner noted the US is “deeply concerned” about the Turkish airstrikes.
Toner declared the airstrikes were not approved by the US-led coalition which fights the Islamic State.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany