Strongly condemning the recent shelling of a mountain resort in northern Iraq, India has said the UN Security Council needs to address the concerns raised by the Iraqi foreign minister that Turkish forces committed an “open and blatant” aggression against his country’s sovereignty.
Addressing an emergency session of the UN Security Council on Tuesday on the attacks in Dohuk that was attended by Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, Chargé d’affaires in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Ambassador R Ravindra said New Delhi “strongly” condemns the recent shelling in the Zakho district of Dohuk Governorate, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
“On behalf of the government and people of India, I express our deepest condolences to the families, who lost their loved ones in the attack, and also wish a speedy recovery to those injured,” he said.
Welcoming the timely condemnation of the dastardly attack by the Security Council, Ravindra said such an attack inside the territory of Iraq is a “clear violation” of the country’s sovereignty.
The attack on a civilian place also shows blatant disregard for international humanitarian law.
He said the Security Council needs to address some of the concerns outlined in the letter from Hussein addressed to Brazil, President of the Council for the month, regarding the attack in Dohuk.
Ravindra said in the letter that Hussein has asserted that “Turkish forces committed an open and blatant aggression against Iraqi territories, its sovereignty and the lives and security of its citizens on July 20, 2022, when they targeted the resort in Dohuk governorate in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq by artillery shelling,” that “resulted in the martyrdom of 9 civilians and injury of 33 unarmed civilians”.
In a press statement issued Monday, the 15-nation Security Council “condemned in the strongest terms” the Dohuk attack and urged all Member States to cooperate actively with the Iraqi government and all other relevant authorities in support of these investigations.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their support for the independence, sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity, democratic process and prosperity of Iraq.
India said Iraq’s territorial integrity and sovereignty must be respected and the relevant party needs to abide by its obligations under the International Humanitarian Law as well as cooperate with the government of Iraq in the investigation into these attacks to ensure accountability.
Ravindra said peace, stability and security in the region were of utmost importance to India.
“A strong, stable and sovereign Iraq would lead to greater security and stability in the region.” He said New Delhi encourages all countries in the region to work together towards this end.
“As a longstanding friend of Iraq and its peoples, India will remain supportive of all endeavours to deliver stability, security and prosperity for the people of Iraq,” he said.
He reaffirmed India’s steadfast support for Iraq’s unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the “deadly artillery shelling” in the Zakho district of Dohuk Governorate and called for a “prompt and thorough” investigation into the incident to determine the circumstances surrounding the attack and to ensure accountability.
UN Special Representative for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert told the emergency session of the Security Council that “this horrific attack on a well-known and clearly identifiable tourist site demonstrates a shocking disregard for civilian life and for the universally accepted standards of international humanitarian and human rights law which seek to protect civilians.” Turkey has denied it was behind the attack and blamed fighters from the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization by Ankara and the West.