Widespread condemnation of Erbil attack that killed Turkish diplomat, two civilians

An unidentified assailant opened fire and killed two people, including a Turkish diplomat, and severely injured another civilian who later died of his wounds in the hospital.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Following a shooting that resulted in the death of a Turkish diplomat and two civilians in the Kurdistan Region capital, top regional officials, as well as various missions, condemned the attack.

The incident occurred early in the afternoon when a group of employees and diplomats from the Turkish consulate in Erbil arrived at a restaurant in a neighborhood on the western side of the city. An unidentified assailant opened fire and killed two people and severely injured another who later died of his wounds in the hospital.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack and the gunman is still at large.

Following the incident, local security forces, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the regional president’s office, and parliament all denounced the attack in separate statements, sending their condolences to the families of the victims.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the shooting in a restaurant in Erbil today, which led to the deaths of a Turkish diplomat and a civilian,” the Directorate-General of Erbil Security said in a statement.

The Kurdistan Region Parliament, meanwhile, described the attack as a “threat” to the security of the region and said it was “an attempt to disrupt the safety and security of Kurdistan.” It also “strongly condemned the actors” behind the attack.

The KRG issued a similarly condemnatory statement and assured that “a serious investigation” was underway to find those responsible for the shooting. The President’s office also vowed the region’s security apparatus would continue to work until they “arrest the culprits.”

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani later in the day with both sides denouncing the shooting and stressing “the need to maintain the stability and security of the region,” a statement from Barzani’s office read.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry condemned the attack as an act of “assassination,” and said they were following the situation with the security body of the KRG to “learn of the circumstances of the incident.”

Foreign Missions in Erbil and Iraq offered their sympathies to the families of the victims with some denouncing it as a “heinous attack.”

“The U.S. Mission condemns the heinous attack on members of the Turkish Consulate in Erbil,” the US Embassy in Iraq wrote on Twitter. “We extend our condolences to the Turkish Mission and express our solidarity in the defense and safety of foreign diplomats and diplomatic missions in Iraq.”

“I was shocked to hear about the killings of Turkish diplomatic colleagues here in #Erbil. I send deepest condolences to their families and to the Turkish Government,” the newly-appointed British consul to Erbil said in a tweet.

Jon Wilks, British Ambassador to Iraq, added to that: “We wish the Kurdish regional authorities speedy success in tracking down the criminals and prosecuting them.”

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany