Kurdistan Region leaders discuss Iran missile attack, reiterate need for de-escalation

The KRG “seeks stability and peace and urges all parties to refrain from dragging the Kurdistan Region into the rivalries.”

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Senior Kurdistan Region leaders met on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing developments in Iraq and the region following a barrage of missile strikes from Iran earlier in the morning.

The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) three presidencies, including President Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, and Parliament Speaker Rewaz Faiaq, met in Erbil to speak about the incident.

In a joint statement following the meeting, the leaders reiterated that a “military solution will in no way solve the problems.”

Iran launched over a dozen ballistic missiles at airbases in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region that house US and coalition forces early Wednesday in retaliation for the US killing of top Iranian general Qasim Soleimani last week.

Read More: Iran strikes military bases in Iraq, Kurdistan housing US forces: Pentagon

According to an Iraqi military statement, 22 ballistic missiles were launched at the Ain al-Assad air base in the western Anbar province that houses American and coalition troops as well as a base in the Kurdistan Region capital of Erbil.

The statement said two of the 17 missiles at Ain al-Assad did not detonate. The five missiles launched in Erbil targeted US-led coalition headquarters, it added. Neither attack caused any casualties, the military said.

“The Kurdistan Region supports de-escalation of the situation and seeks dialogue and diplomatic solutions to the problems,” the joint statement by the Kurdish leaders continued.

The KRG “also seeks stability and peace and urges all parties to refrain from dragging the Kurdistan Region into the rivalries.”

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said his government is “monitoring the developments with concern.”

“We have done, and we will do everything we can to help de-escalate the situation and return stability to the region,” he added, noting that the KRG’s “primary duty” is to protect the people of the Kurdistan Region.

Related Article: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefs Kurdistan PM Masrour Barzani on Iran strikes

On Tuesday, Masoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), called for Iraqi politicians to work toward resolving the current national turmoil amid spiking tensions between the US and both Iran and militias it backs in Iraq.

Read More: Kurdish leader urges Iraqi decision-makers to find 'reasonable solution' to crisis

Barzani expressed his willingness to participate in efforts to find a meaningful resolution, if “the process benefits the general public and all sides,” but said the Kurdistan Region would not “play any part in exposing the country to a proxy fight and into an unforeseeable future.”