UN Secretary-General condemns deadly artillery attack in Zakho

UN Secretary-General António Guterres (Photo: AFP)
UN Secretary-General António Guterres (Photo: AFP)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday night condemned the deadly artillery attack that killed nine civilians and injured 23 more in the Kurdistan Region's Zakho on Wednesday.

Farhan Haq, the Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, said in a statement that Guterres called for a "prompt and thorough investigation" into Wednesday's tragedy.

The investigation should "determine the circumstances surrounding the attack and to ensure accountability." 

Moreover, the UN Secretary-General offered his condolences to the families of the nine civilian victims and wished "the injured a speedy recovery."

Read More: Leading Western countries offer condolences to victims of Zakho attack

Several leading Western countries, including Germany, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, have condemned or offered condolences to the victims. 

Several UN agencies, including UNICEF and UNAMI, also condemned the attack.

A small number of Iraqi demonstrators gathered in front of the UN office in Erbil on Thursday and called for an end to attacks on civilians in Iraq.

Read More: Protest at UN office in Erbil calls for peace, end to attacks on civilians

The Iraqi government has officially blamed Turkey for the attack. Turkey denies involvement.

The spokesperson for the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Al-Sahaf, in an interview with Kurdistan 24 on Thursday, rejected the Turkish denial, underlining that Ankara is "behind the attack". 

"Turkey's denial of irresponsibility is a black joke that Iraqi diplomacy will not accept," he said.

Moreover, he added that Iraq might request the UN Security Council to hold an emergency session to discuss the recent Turkish actions.