ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Senior leaders of the autonomous Kurdistan Region on Saturday acknowledged the role of the Asayish (security) forces and the Counter-Terrorism Directorate (CTD) in finding and arresting the perpetrators behind the recent Erbil shooting that killed a high-level Turkish consular official and two others.
“I warmly thank all Asayish, counter-terrorism, and security services that, in a very short time, found the perpetrator and his accomplices of the terrorist attack in an Erbil restaurant that unfortunately resulted in the death of a Turkish diplomat and two citizens of the Kurdistan Region,” said Masrour Barzani, prime minister of the Kurdistan Region, on Sunday.
His statement came hours after the CTD announced that it had arrested the lead suspect in the shooting, three days earlier.
“This success is the outcome of the loyalty and great efforts of these security services that have become the protectors of stability and security of the Kurdistan Region,” Barzani said, praising the support of the region's populace for its security forces.
“The Kurdistan Region will always remain a safe and secure place with the great efforts of security services and the help of people.”
The shooting took place at the HuQQabaz restaurant, instantly killing the Turkish diplomat and a local citizen, with another later succumbing to his wounds while receiving medical treatment at a hospital.
President of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani also labeled the arrest of the suspects as a positive development.
“The success of Asayish and CT forces in their main duty proves their loyalty to protecting the Kurdistan Region and its people,” Barzani said.
The Kurdish president stated that, until now, the security and counter-terrorism forces have protected the Kurdistan Region and its people and would continue to do so to ensure stability and security in the autonomous region.
The CTD identified the lead suspect as a man in his twenties named Mazloum Dagh, born in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir (Amed) in Turkey.
They also detained an alleged accomplice of Dagh in the shooting, naming him as Muhammad Biskisz, but adding that he also goes by three other names: Dizhwar, Mamand, and Yusif.
“I warmly thank all the heroes of Asayish, CT, and all other security services of Kurdistan that were able to arrest the criminals as soon as possible,” said Masoud Barzani, the leader of the leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the former regional president.
“As always, they proved that they are trustworthy and are our pride,” he added in his statement, also thanking the people of the Kurdistan Region for supporting and helping the security forces and stressing that there would be no place for terror there.
“No criminals will be absent from the eyes of Kurdistan's people and its security services.”
The Kurdish leader, who continues to remain an influential political figure in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, called upon all parties to take their disputes out of the Kurdistan Region and avoid from hurting people in the region, believed to indirectly refer to the fight between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkey.
Editing by John J. Catherine