ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday labeled Iran’s bombardment of the Kurdistan Region’s town of Koya a violation of the country’s sovereignty.
“The Ministry affirms Iraq’s keenness for the security of its neighbors and its refusal to allow its territory to be used to threaten the security of those countries. It [Iraq], however, categorically rejects the violation of Iraqi sovereignty by bombing any target within Iraqi territory without prior coordination with the Iraqi authorities, to spare civilians of the effects of such operations,” Ahmed Mahjoub, spokesperson for the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
On Saturday morning, Iranian rockets targeted the headquarters of two Iranian Kurdish opposition groups, the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Iran (KDP-I) and the Democratic Party of the Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), as well as an Iranian Kurdish refugee camp in the Kurdistan Region’s Koya town.
The bombardment killed 14 members from the two parties and injured 40 more, with two other members still missing, believed to be trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings, the KDP-I said in a statement issued Saturday evening.
It is the largest attack on the KDP-I’s headquarters since 1996. The party split from the PDKI in 2006 following an internal dispute.
The two parties reignited a conflict with the Iranian government in June 2016, 20 years after laying down their weapons to prevent jeopardizing Kurdish gains made in northern Iraq.
Following Saturday’s bombardment, both the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Kurdistan Parliament condemned the Tehran-sanctioned attack and called on Iranian Kurdish groups to avoid using the Kurdistan Region’s soil to attack neighboring states.
Editing by Nadia Riva