Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) senior official and former Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari confirmed that the recent rocket attack targeting the Erbil International Airport sends a clear message to the US and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
Zebari, in statements to Asharq Al-Awsat, said that the attack can be interpreted as an attempt to settle Iranian-US scores on Iraqi soil, especially with US elections being around the corner.
The former top diplomat accused Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) 30th Brigade commander “Waad al-Qiddo” of masterminding the attack, especially since the assault was launched from an area in the Iraqi Kurdistan region which falls under the jurisdiction of the brigade he commands.
Al-Qiddo is supported by Fatah Alliance leader Hadi al-Amiri.
“These things are known to us completely,” Zebari said about the Kurdish authorities’ conviction that the 30th Brigade was behind the attack.
“Al-Qiddo is designated as a terrorist for the crimes he committed in areas controlled by his 30th Brigade,” Zebari added.
Acknowledging that the recent attack is a grave escalation against national security, the former FM asserted that Kurdish authorities will not remain silent.
“Leaders of the Kurdistan Region will not stand idle to such desperate adventures undertaken by delusional parties trying to influence the chances of President Trump being re-elected,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.
As for rockets that were launched but had missed their target, they will lead to an even greater escalation which will be witnessed in the coming days, he warned.
“The attacks were intended to get the message across to the Americans that they are unwelcome in Iraq, more than they were an attack on Erbil,” Zebari explained, adding that the perpetrators will face a dire fate as a price paid for their adventurism.
“Those who play with fire adopt the brinkmanship strategy of pushing things to the edge, but they are the only ones playing with fire,” he remarked.
Zebari reaffirmed that the security situation in the Kurdistan Region remains under control and backed by popular support for the incumbent authorities.