Six Killed in Attack on Small Airport in Iraq’s Kurdistan 

The premises of an airfield used by Iraqi Kurdish forces is pictured in Arbat, near Sulaymaniyah in Iraq's Kurdistan, after a drone strike that hit the airfield. (AFP)
The premises of an airfield used by Iraqi Kurdish forces is pictured in Arbat, near Sulaymaniyah in Iraq's Kurdistan, after a drone strike that hit the airfield. (AFP)
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Six Killed in Attack on Small Airport in Iraq’s Kurdistan 

The premises of an airfield used by Iraqi Kurdish forces is pictured in Arbat, near Sulaymaniyah in Iraq's Kurdistan, after a drone strike that hit the airfield. (AFP)
The premises of an airfield used by Iraqi Kurdish forces is pictured in Arbat, near Sulaymaniyah in Iraq's Kurdistan, after a drone strike that hit the airfield. (AFP)

Six people were killed on Monday in a drone strike on the small military airport of Arbid in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, a local official and a security source told Reuters.

Iraqi Kurdish security forces sealed off the area, according to two security sources.

Arbid is a small airport used for helicopters located 50 km (30 miles) to the east of the city of Sulaymaniyah in the northeast of the country.

Two members of the Kurdish security forces were wounded in the attack and were rushed to a military hospital in Sulaymaniyah under tight security, said the police source.

Police said the identities of the deceased were still unknown.

One security source said initial information suggested a Turkish drone was used in the attack against a suspected Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) target.

Türkiye regularly carries out air strikes on PKK militants in northern Iraq and has dozens of outposts in Iraqi territory. The PKK took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984.

Bafel Talabani, President of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the dominant Kurdish parties in northern Iraq, confirmed the drone strike but said the six dead and wounded were members of the Iraqi Kurdish counter-terrorism force.

“We strongly condemn the terrorist attack on the Agricultural Airport of Arbid in Sulaymaniyah, which resulted in the martyrdom and injury of six heroic Peshmerga ...,” he said in a statement.

Iraqi Kurdistan’s internal security forces, Asayish, said in a statement the counter-terrorism force was attacked and three members were killed during a training mission inside the “agricultural airport.”

Iraqi Kurdistan’s Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani condemned the drone attack and demanded the intervention of the federal government authorities to “prevent these attacks from recurring.”

Two Iraqi army intelligence officers said Baghdad will send a joint security team to Sulaymaniyah to investigate the strike.

Also on Monday, the Kurdistan National Congress, an umbrella organization of Kurdish groups and parties, said in a statement that one of its members was “assassinated” inside the group’s office in the capital of the Kurdistan Region, Erbil, without giving further details.

Türkiye often launches strikes against targets in Syria and Iraq that it believes to be affiliated to the PKK.

In April, Türkiye closed its airspace to flights to and from the Sulaymaniyah International Airport, citing an alleged increase in Kurdish militant activity threatening flight safety.

Days later, the Syrian Democratic Forces — Kurdish-led forces operating in northeast Syria that are allied to the United States in its fight against the ISIS but considered by Türkiye to be an offshoot of the PKK — accused Türkiye of launching a strike on the airport when SDF commander Mazloum Abdi was at the site. Abdi was unharmed.



Israel Bombs Gaza after US Criticizes High Civilian Toll

Palestinians inspect at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in the central Gaza Strip, July 16, 2024. REUTERS/Ramadan Abed
Palestinians inspect at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in the central Gaza Strip, July 16, 2024. REUTERS/Ramadan Abed
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Israel Bombs Gaza after US Criticizes High Civilian Toll

Palestinians inspect at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in the central Gaza Strip, July 16, 2024. REUTERS/Ramadan Abed
Palestinians inspect at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in the central Gaza Strip, July 16, 2024. REUTERS/Ramadan Abed

Israel renewed its bombardment of the Gaza Strip Tuesday, after the United States renewed its criticism of its ally over the high civilian casualty toll of the war.

Residents told AFP of Israeli warplanes striking central Gaza and artillery fire hitting the territory's south, while medics said they pulled multiple bodies from the rubble of the latest bombardment.

Hours earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told two top Israeli officials that casualties among Palestinian civilians "still remain unacceptably high".

"We continue to see far too many civilians killed in this conflict," spokesman Matthew Miller said after Blinken meth Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi.

Washington has been pushing for a truce between Israel and Hamas.

But Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh said Sunday that the group was pulling out of indirect talks for a deal in protest at recent Israeli "massacres", including a massive strike on Sunday that the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said killed at least 92 people.

Haniyeh said Hamas stood ready to return to the indirect talks once Israel "demonstrates seriousness in reaching a ceasefire agreement and a prisoner exchange deal".

After the latest deadly strikes, medics from the Palestinian Red Crescent said they recovered four bodies from a house outside the southern city of Khan Yunis and another from Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza.

The Israeli military said that over the previous 24 hours its air force struck "approximately 40 terror targets" in Gaza. They included "sniping posts, observation posts, Hamas military structures, terror infrastructure, and buildings rigged with explosives".

It said its troops were also continuing targeted raids in the far-southern city of Rafah and in the central Gaza Strip.