Premier says Duhok's crashed helicopter was owned by a leading Kurdistan-based party

Premier says Duhok's crashed helicopter was owned by a leading Kurdistan-based party

Shafaq News/ The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Masrour Barzani, on Sunday said a leading party in the Kurdistan region was an owner of Duhok's crashed helicopter.

Speaking at a meeting with consuls and foreign representatives, Barzani explained, "as you are aware, a helicopter crashed in the region, and there are many unanswered questions regarding the incident, particularly after the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) claimed that the helicopter and all its passengers were their own."

He went on to elaborate, "Our intelligence and security institutions have confirmed the crash of one helicopter, but we have no information about a second one. While we do not deny its existence, we can only say that we have no tangible proof of it. We have launched a thorough investigation to ascertain why these helicopters were in the area and what led to the tragic crash."

"These helicopters were initially purchased by a group within the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). However, the circumstances surrounding how and why the SDF ended up with them are shrouded in mystery. Moreover, the question of why they were present in that particular location and subsequently crashed there is one that requires further investigation," he added.

The revelation has raised concerns over the possibility of the SDF's involvement in the procurement and deployment of military hardware, raising the stakes in an already tense region. The investigation is ongoing, and further details are expected to emerge in the coming days.

The veil of mystery shrouding a March 15 helicopter crash in Iraq's Kurdistan was partially lifted on Friday when the United States' top ally in the fight against the Islamic State said that nine of its fighters were killed in the accident.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said two helicopters carrying its elite forces had crashed en route to Sulaiymaniyah, the Kurdistan region's second-largest city. Sulaiymaniyah is the stronghold of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the second most powerful party in the Kurdistan region. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said on Thursday that a single helicopter had crashed in the district of Chamanke in the Dohuk governorate.

The SDF added that the units were part of an "exchange of expertise" in the fight against the Islamic State. Among the victims was Sherwan Kobane, a cousin of the SDF's commander-in-chief, Mazlum Kobane, also known as Mazlum Abdi.

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