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Two Kurdish Counterterrorism Agencies Deny Connection to Soleimani’s Assassination

Two Kurdish Counterterrorism Agencies Deny Connection to Soleimani’s Assassination

Monday, 10 May, 2021 - 05:45
Kurdish policemen look on towards banners supporting the referendum for independence of Kurdistan in Erbil, Iraq September 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

The Kurdistan Region Directorate General of Counter Terrorism (CTD) denied on Sunday having any connection with the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, following a report, published by Yahoo, pointing to the involvement of Kurdish officers in the operation.

The CTD noted that the CTG, which was mentioned in an investigative report published by Yahoo, was affiliated with the co-president of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Lahur Sheikh Jangi, the nephew of the late party leader and former Iraqi president Jalal Talbani, adding that this body worked outside the legal contexts of the Kurdistan region.

In a statement, the CTD said that it had “no connection” with the CTG and was not aware of the operation.

The group, it added, “is affiliated with Lahur Sheikh Jangi and his brothers.”

The statement emphasized that PUK-affiliated forces “do not comply with the laws of the Kurdistan Region and its institutions.”

It also recommended the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to “conduct a serious investigation” into the allegations.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Counter-Terrorism Group (CTG) of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan said, in a statement published on Sunday, that the report “indirectly alleges the participation of a number of Kurdish officers in the assassination of General Qassem Soleiman,” adding: “We categorically deny any knowledge or participation of counter-terrorism forces in this operation.”

It is noteworthy that the security services in the Kurdistan region are still divided between the two previous administrations (the yellow zone of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the green zone of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan), despite the union of the two administrations after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

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