Rojava official killed by Turkish drones during formal visit to Iraqi Kurdistan

Rojava official killed by Turkish drones during formal visit to Iraqi Kurdistan
A senior political official from the Syrian Kurdish autonomous administration (Rojava) was on a formal visit to the Iraqi Kurdistan region when a Turkish airstrike killed him.  
2 min read
20 June, 2022
Kurdish activists gather to protest against a recent Turkish armed forces-led bombing campaign at Parliament Square on 2 February 2022 in London, England. [Getty]

Hussein Shibli, co-chairman of the executive council of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), who was killed in a Turkish drone operation in the Kalar district of Sulaimaniyah province on early June 17, was on a formal visit to the Iraqi Kurdistan region, officials from the AANES told The New Arab.

Kurdistan Counter-Terrorism on Friday said in a statement that the drone attack targeted a "Jeep-type car", killing three other people, and a fifth was taken to hospital for treatment. 

"Our comrade Hussein Shibli, also known as Farhad Shibli, was on a formal visit to the Kurdistan region for medical treatment. He was martyred in a terrorist attack in Kalar," Avin Swed, representative of the AANES in the Kurdistan region told TNA in a phone interview.

"We consider the targeting of Shibli as targeting the AANES system, the Turkish state and its proxies cannot fight the administration of North and East Syria, they resort to the assassination of our comrade," Swed added. 

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She also said that DNA tests confirmed that Shibli was killed, the driver of the car has been injured, and the identity of the three others has yet to be identified as they were badly burnt

She stressed that they formally asked the officials in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) as well as the Iraqi federal government to investigate the killings and prosecute Iraqis who collaborated in the assassinating by giving information to the Turkish intelligence agency (MIT). 

"We have serious criticism of the KRG and Iraqi officials since so far they have kept silent, we as AANES want an investigation to be carried out to officially tell us why Shibli has been targeted while he was on a formal visit into the country," she asserted.   

TNA called Ahmed al-Sahaf, spokesperson of the Iraqi foreign ministry, but he was not immediately available to comment. 

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AANES on Saturday has called on the international community to "pressure the Turkish state to set a boundary on such operations that destabilizes regional stability and breaches the sovereignty of an independent country contrary to all the international principles."

The attack in Kalar follows Turkish air strikes in the Yazidi heartland of Sinjar on Wednesday - including a strike on a marketplace that killed a 12-year-old boy.

Last month Zaki Chalabi, a Kurd from South East of Turkey, and the owner of Deniz restaurant in Sulaimaniyah city were shot dead, and no one has been arrested yet. PKK claims that MIT agents were behind the killing.