Attack on Kurdish Politician's Office in Kirkuk
In a brazen act of violence, the office of Shakhawan Abdullah, the second deputy speaker of the Iraqi parliament and a prominent Kurdish politician, was targeted in an armed attack on Monday in the disputed city of Kirkuk. Fortunately, no casualties were reported, and the assailants managed to escape, according to an official statement.
Abdullah, who belongs to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), revealed details of the incident in a Facebook statement, stating that the office guards engaged with the attackers, hitting their vehicle. This marks the second attack on Abdullah's Kirkuk office, with the previous incident occurring in January of the previous year when grenades were launched at the premises.
"We call on the competent security authorities to conduct an urgent investigation to uncover the perpetrators and pursue them wherever they are and bring them to justice," Abdullah declared. Despite the targeted violence, he affirmed that such attacks would not deter him from continuing his political activities in the city.
Kirkuk, a multiethnic city hosting Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, and Assyrians, has been a focal point of tensions. It was jointly administered until 2014 when Kurdish forces assumed control after the withdrawal of Iraqi forces in the face of the Islamic State's offensive. However, in October 2017, Iraqi forces retook control following the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) independence referendum, leading to the expulsion of Kurdish security forces.
While other Kurdish political parties remain active in Kirkuk, the KDP has refrained from returning, citing the city's alleged occupation by Shiite militias. The attack on Abdullah's office underscores the complex and fragile nature of the political landscape in the disputed region.
Authorities are urged to conduct a thorough investigation into the attack, and concerns are raised regarding the security situation in Kirkuk as tensions persist among its diverse population.