UK envoy reiterates condemnation of IRGC attacks on Erbil

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) President Masoud Barzani expressed his appreciation for the UK’s stance.
KDP President Masoud Barzani (right) during his meeting with UK Ambassador to Iraq Stephen Charles Hitchen in Erbil, Jan. 24, 2024. (Photo: Barzani Headquarters)
KDP President Masoud Barzani (right) during his meeting with UK Ambassador to Iraq Stephen Charles Hitchen in Erbil, Jan. 24, 2024. (Photo: Barzani Headquarters)

ERBIL (Kurdistan24) – The United Kingdom Ambassador to Iraq Stephen Charles Hitchen on Wednesday reiterated his country’s condemnation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Jan. 15 attacks on Erbil in a meeting with KDP President Masoud Barzani.

Ambassador Hitchen, who has visited and met with Kurdish leaders twice since Jan. 15, condemned the deadly attacks, which had killed at least four civilians and wounded six others.

The diplomat expressed his country’s condolences to Barzani, describing the strikes as “unjustifiable” and “unacceptable”, particularly as they have resulted in civilian casualties, according to a statement from Barzani Headquarters. 

The leaders also discussed the latest developments in the region and the ongoing investigation into the Iranian attacks on the private residence of Peshraw Dizayee, a construction magnate, who was killed in the attack along with another man Karam Mikahel, an Iraqi-British contractor.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) President Masoud Barzani expressed his appreciation for the UK’s stance and the efforts by Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia’ Al-Sudani to investigate the attacks. 

KDP President Masoud Barzani (top right) during his meeting with UK Ambassador to Iraq Stephen Charles Hitchen in Erbil, Jan. 24, 2024. (Photo: Barzani Headquarters)
KDP President Masoud Barzani (top right) during his meeting with UK Ambassador to Iraq Stephen Charles Hitchen in Erbil, Jan. 24, 2024. (Photo: Barzani Headquarters)

The newly inaugurated UK Consul General in Erbil James Goldman attended the meeting along with other British diplomats.

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Jan. 18 met with the UK foreign sectary David Cameron on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He had similarly expressed his condolences and condemned the attacks.

Read More: PM Barzani, UK chief diplomat discuss Iranian attacks on Erbil

The attacks drew widespread condemnation from Western countries as well as the United Nations. Baghdad recalled its ambassador from Tehran in protest of what it described as a violation of its sovereignty.

The Iraqi government later filed an official complaint to the United Nations Security Council on the attacks.

The IRGC similarly targeted another residence of a Kurdish businessman in 2022, resulting in significant material damage to the mansion.