Bafel Talabani: Six peshmerga killed in terrorist attack on airport
President of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) on Monday said that the explosion that left fatalities at a small airport near the city of Sulaymaniyah was caused by a "terrorist attack," and six peshmergas of the Kurdistan Counter-Terrorism Group were killed by the attack.
"This crime signifies a blatant violation of the territorial integrity of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq and is indicative of a larger plot to undermine the peace and stability in the Kurdistan Region, particularly in the area around Sulaymaniyah."
"In the face of this transgression, it is essential for all political parties in the Kurdistan Region to together confront the security perils and obstacles, thereby safeguarding Kurdistan from its enemies."
Talabani did not name a specific country or group as holding the responsibility of the attack.
PUK, one of the two major political parties in the Kurdistan region of Iraq (KRI) and the main rival of the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), is the dominant force in Sulaymaniyah, the second most-populated province in the region.
Sulaymaniyah has become target to suspected Turkish drone strikes in recent months, as Turkish officials claim that the province has become a hotbed for the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), designated a "terrorist group" by Ankara.
Turkey's former foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in April that the PKK now has total control over PUK, and that it is gradually infiltrating all strategic posts of significance in Sulaymaniyah.
Cavusoglu's remarks came days after a suspected Turkish drone strike targeted Mazloum Abdi, the commander of Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and a US convoy in Sulaymaniyah.