Two Iraqi officers killed in Turkish drone strike in northern Erbil governorate

‘Flagrant aggression’
A plume of smoke rises after a Turkish airstrike in Bradost area in Erbil governorate in the Kurdistan Region after Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Iraqi Border Guard were meeting to resolve a dispute on August 11, 2020. (Photo Credit: NRT Digital Media)

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SULAIMANI — Two Iraqi soldiers belonging to the Border Guard Force were killed in an airstrike conducted by a Turkish military drone on Tuesday (August 11) in the Bradost area of Erbil governorate’s Sidikan sub-district, according to the Iraq’s Security Media Cell.

The two soldiers were both brigadier generals, described as the commanders of the Second and Third Brigades respectively.

The driver of the vehicle in which the soldiers were traveling was also killed.

The military statement said that the strike was “flagrant aggression,” Reuters reported.

According to NRT Digital Media reporter Abdo Rostayi the border guards had been in the area, which is close to the triple border with Iraq, Iran, and Turkey, to meet with fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in order to resolve local security disputes.

A source speaking on condition of anonymity reported that three PKK fighters were also killed in the strike, including a commander.

Earlier in the day a shepherd was reportedly wounded in a clash between the border guard and the PKK, according to a local official.

Turkey has been conducting intense military operations in the Kurdistan Region and northern Iraq, with the latest round beginning on June 15. Ankara says that the operations are necessary to protect itself from PKK attacks.

At least six civilians have been killed in Turkish airstrikes in the past two months.

The two Iraqi soldiers were the first killed by Turkey during that period.

In June, the Iraqi government twice summoned the Turkish ambassador to protest Ankara’s violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

Following the attack on Tuesday, First Deputy Speaker of the Council of Representatives Hassan Karim al-Kaabi released a statement denouncing “the persistence of the Turkish forces in their aggression.”

Al-Kaabi called on the government to summon the Turkish ambassador and deliver a strongly worded protest.

On July 1, a unit of the Border Guard deployed near Zakho in Duhok governorate in an effort to discourage Turkish airstrikes.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone on August 1.

(NRT Digital Media)

This story was updated at 9:56 p.m. EBL