Turkish diplomat and two others killed in northern Iraq restaurant attack

A Turkish diplomat working at Ankara's consulate in Erbil was killed during a shooting attack at a restaurant in the city. (AP Photo)
Updated 18 July 2019

Turkish diplomat and two others killed in northern Iraq restaurant attack

  • The restaurant is located on the airport road in Erbil
  • Security and emergency officials were responding to the incident and the scene was on lockdown

ERBIL: At least one gunman killed three people including the Turkish vice consul to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region in an attack Wednesday in the regional capital of Erbil, a police source told AFP.

“Three people, including the Turkish vice consul, were killed in an armed attack targeting the consul and the consulate’s employees in a restaurant in Erbil,” the source said, adding the attackers had fled the scene.

Witnesses in the city said checkpoints had been quickly set up inside and around the neighborhood of Ainkawa, which hosts numerous restaurants and the Turkish consulate.

Turkey confirmed that an “employee” at its Erbil consulate was killed in a shooting. Turkish presidency has pledged to ‘respond’ to killing of the diplomat.

The attack was not immediately claimed.

 

 

Turkey is waging a major military offensive in Iraq’s mountainous northern region to root out pockets of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The PKK, seen as a “terrorist” group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 and operates rear bases in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.

Several rocket attacks have targeted diplomatic missions in Iraq in recent months, including rockets near the US and UK embassies in Baghdad’s “Green Zone.”

The US in May ordered all non-essential personnel of its Baghdad embassy and Erbil consulate to leave the country.

And in June, protesters gathered outside the Bahraini embassy in Baghdad,

Authorities in Iraq, which is witnessing a period of relative calm since declaring victory against the Daesh group in 2017, have pledged to protect embassies.


Turkey sends armed drone to northern Cyprus amid gas dispute

Updated 58 min 22 sec ago

Turkey sends armed drone to northern Cyprus amid gas dispute

  • The breakaway northern Cyprus government approved the use of the airport for unmanned aerial vehicles
  • A recent agreement between Turkey and Libya claims extensive areas of sea for Turkey in the Mediterranean

FAMAGUSTA, Cyprus: A Turkish military drone was delivered to northern Cyprus on Monday amid growing tensions over Turkey’s deal with Libya that extended its claims to the gas-rich eastern Mediterranean.
The Bayraktar TB2 drone landed in Gecitkale Airport in Famagusta around 0700 GMT, an AFP correspondent said, after the breakaway northern Cyprus government approved the use of the airport for unmanned aerial vehicles.
It followed a deal signed last month between Libya and Turkey that could prove crucial in the scramble for recently discovered gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.
The agreement claimed extensive areas of the sea for Turkey, undercutting claims by Greece and the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, which runs the southern part of the island.
Analysts say Turkey was pushing back against rival efforts to claim exploration rights in the area after Cyprus, Greece, Egypt and Israel excluded Turkey from a new “East Mediterranean Gas Forum” that also includes Jordan, Italy and the Palestinian territories.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is only recognized by Turkey, said approval for the drone was given last week “in light of the latest developments in the eastern Mediterranean region” and “to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the TRNC and Turkey.”
The TRNC’s transport minister, Tolga Atakan, said Turkish drones were partly a response to the acquisition of Israeli drones by Cyprus in October to monitor its exclusive economic zone.
Cyprus has been divided since Turkish troops occupied the northern third of the island in 1974 in response to a coup sponsored by the Greek military junta.
Turkey already has two drilling vessels in the eastern Mediterranean despite the threat of European Union sanctions.
Ankara does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member, and says the TRNC has the right to explore around the entire island.