Suspect in Iranian Kurdish opposition official murder escaped to Iran

The Erbil Security Directorate in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region has issued a statement saying that the prime suspect in the murder case of Musa Babakhani, a member of the Central Committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, escaped to Iran after the murder.

According to the report published on the website of the Iraqi Shafaq newspaper, the main suspect is someone called Sarmad Dawood Abd Ali, also known as “Saman Ilami,” who left Erbil for Iran through the border city of Khanaqin, on the afternoon of August 6, after the murder of Mr. Babakhani.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) announced the “assassination” of Musa Babakhani, a member of the party’s central committee, in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Saturday, August 7th.

The party said that Mr. Babakhani had been abducted on Thursday, August 5, by “forces affiliated with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” and that “his lifeless body,” on which many traces of torture could be seen, was found in a hotel room on Saturday morning, August 7.

According to this report, “Saman Ilami” lived in the Kurdistan region for about a year and was acquainted with Mr. Babakhani. Before his assassination, they even walked together in Erbil Bazaar for several hours. “Sarmad has been staying at Guli Sulaimani hotel for one year and four months in Erbil on the pretext of doing business, he was friends with the victim (Mousa Babakhani) and they were constantly together and have visited each other a lot,” they added.

This is not the first targeting of an official in the party. A senior commander of the party, Qadir Qadiri, was found dead in March 2018 in Hartal village, Ranya district, near Sulaimani’s border with Iran. He had been shot 21 times. The KDP-I claimed Qadiri’s killing was ordered by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Source: Radio Liberty
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