Kurdistan Region president extends condolences over French soldier’s death
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani on Saturday extended his condolences to France over the death of a serviceman in a car accident a day earlier.
Sergeant Baptiste Gauchot was critically wounded after his car went off the road, the French armed forces ministry said.
The soldier was transferred to Erbil to receive medical attention, but his life could not be saved due to the severity of his wounds.
“It is with deep sadness that I learned of the death of the French serviceman, Sergeant Baptiste Gauchot, who sadly lost his life in a road accident late last night while on duty within the International Coalition Forces Against ISIS,” President Barzani said in a statement, extending his “deepest condolences” to the family of the soldier and French President Emmanuel Macron.
President Macron said the soldier died while “taking part in a training mission for the Iraqi armed forces.”
“The people of Kurdistan appreciate the support and assistance of the French military within the framework of the International Coalition Forces Against ISIS, who continue to provide support and assistance to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region for the eradication of terrorism,” President Barzani added.
Erbil and Paris share close economic, cultural, and political ties. The two capitals are sister cities.
As an integral part of the US-led coalition against ISIS, France has provided the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces with training as well as air support in the Kurdish forces’ fight against the terror group between 2014 and 2017.
French defense minister visited Kurdistan Region in late July and met with the Kurdish leadership.