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Barzani Condemns Torching of Kurdish Party Offices in Baghdad

Barzani Condemns Torching of Kurdish Party Offices in Baghdad

Saturday, 17 October, 2020 - 16:15
An Iraqi policeman stands guard as smoke rises from the office of Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Baghdad's Karada district, Iraq on 17 October 2020. EPA/MURTAJA LATEEF

Kurdish President Nechirvan Barzani condemned on Saturday the torching of the main Kurdish party's headquarters in Baghdad after Iraq's longtime former foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari criticized the Popular Mobilization Forces.

Supporters of PMF, an Iraqi paramilitary network dominated by Iran-backed factions, burned down Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)'s headquarters in Baghdad.

Hundreds of PMF demonstrators swept past a security detail and stormed into the offices of the KDP, which runs the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, and torched them.

Protesters burned Kurdish flags while others carried posters of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and his Iraqi lieutenant Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport last January.

Earlier this month, Zebari, a key Kurdish power-broker, said the government needed to "clean up the Green Zone (in Baghdad) from the presence of PMF militias."

They were operating "outside the law", Zebari, a KDP member, said in comments.

Barzani condemned Saturday's vandalism as "an act of sabotage.”

Massoud Barzani, the KDP's veteran head, also called on the Baghdad government to hold the assailants accountable.

"Those who attack the KDP and make a mockery of the values of Kurdistan's people will pay the price for their actions," he said.

Vian Sabry, head of the KDP bloc in the Iraqi parliament, blamed "unaccountable factions for being behind such acts," without elaborating.

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