‘There are no Israeli bases in Kurdistan Region,’ announces KRG spox

The announcement came after armed militias in Iraq attacked Erbil Air Base on Dec. 27 with one-way attack drones and rockets. The militias later alleged their targets were Israeli military installations.
Peshawa Hawramani, spokesperson for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). (Photo: KRG)
Peshawa Hawramani, spokesperson for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). (Photo: KRG)

ERBIL (Kurdistan24) – Peshawa Hawramani, spokesperson for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), on Friday in a statement refuted accusations by  “outlawed groups” that the Kurdistan Region houses Israeli headquarters and bases.

The announcement came after armed militias in Iraq attacked Erbil Air Base on Dec. 27 with one-way attack drones and rockets. The militias later alleged their targets were Israeli military installations.

Read More: Attack on Erbil Air Base leaves no casualties or damage: Pentagon official

The spokesperson, in turn, called these attacks a “cowardly and terrorist act.”

This is not the first time such accusations have been levied against the Kurdish region, as in March 2022, a “fact-finding committee” was jointly established between Erbil and Baghdad, to investigate alleged military links between the Kurds and Israel, or the “Zionist Entity,” as described by Baghdad.

That committee was established, in part, in response to a March 13, 2022 attack on Erbil, also cited by an Iraqi militia as an attack on an Israeli military post.

That allegation drew strong denials by KRG leadership, with former government spokesperson Jotiar Adil at the time saying "We hereby affirm, as we have several times in the past, that this is far from true and that there is no Israeli intelligence agency present in the Kurdistan Region.”

“We believe these baseless accusations and news are intentional, aiming to undermine and disrupt the Kurdistan Region,” Adil continued.

Later in May of that year, the Lead Inspector General (LIG) for US counter-terrorism operations in Iraq and Syria published a report on its findings into the matter, finding that “Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] claimed responsibility for the attack against what it described as an Israeli intelligence outpost in Erbil,” it continued, even as it explained “the building struck was the residence of a prominent [oil] businessman well known to US officials.” 

In that same May of 2022, Iraqi Parliament passed a bill criminalizing ties with Israel after it was unanimously approved by 275 lawmakers out of the parliament’s 329 members. 

Dubbed “the Banning the Normalization and Establishment of Relations with the Zionist Entity,” the law mandates the punishment of any person or entity that seeks to normalize or establish ties with Israel in any form or field.

Since the inception of the Abraham Accords signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the fall of 2020, Iraq’s firebrand Shia’ cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has warned on numerous occasions against establishing ties with Israel.

Following the establishment of Israel in 1948, Iraq was one of the Middle East’s Arab countries that declared war on it. The two countries never established ties.