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U.S. Abductions Lead to Standoff With Kurds

Posted on Jan 11, 2007
helicopter raid

U.S. Marines practice a helicopter raid scenario.

Just hours before the president’s national address, during which he accused Iran of supporting attacks on American troops, U.S. forces raided the Iranian consulate in Erbil, Kurdistan, abducting at least five people and seizing documents and other property, according to eyewitnesses.

Outraged, Kurdish authorities demanded the release of the prisoners and, shortly after the raid, Kurdish security forces surrounded U.S. soldiers in a standoff that lasted for more than an hour.

New York Times:

American forces backed by helicopters raided the Iranian consulate in the mainly Kurdish city of Erbil in northern Iraq before dawn [Thursday], detaining at least five Iranian employees in the building and seizing some property, according to Iraqi and Iranian officials and witnesses.

Kurdish forces were in control of the consulate building when a reporter went there after the raid. There was broken glass on the pavement outside the building, and no sign of the Iranian flag.

A statement from the United States military [Thursday] did not mention the Iranian consulate specifically, saying only that six people were taken into custody in “routine security operations” in the Erbil area. Other than saying they were “suspected of being closely tied to activities targeting Iraqi and Coalition forces on Jan. 11,” the statement did not say who the people were.

But the American statement did warn that “the Coalition will continue to work with the Government of Iraq to prevent interference by hostile actors in Iraq’s internal security affairs.”

Statements by the Iranian government were more explicit. A Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammad Ali Hosseini, said that United States forces arrested five Iranian staff members at the consulate early this morning, and confiscated computers and documents.

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NPR on the following standoff

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By Contractor, February 11, 2007 at 2:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here’s a thought….I live and work in Kirkuk. 

Not on the airbase.  Not protected by any military.  We work with a 90% Kurd staffing.  Read my words very carefully—-there’s not a single Kurd in this region that didnt applaud the raid on the Iranians.

Yes, Iraq asked Iran for help——but the Kurds that control the northern 1/3rd of the country hate the crap out of Iran.  They have been autonomous for a long time now and they don’t particularly care for the religious crap that has invaded the politics in Baghdad.  Dont forget, this is one of the few places in the world where Muslims lead a pretty decent Islamic life and co-exist perfectly with everyone else.

The same cant be said for the Baghdad gov’t anymore.

Some refuse to acknowledge this is part of Kurdistan…but then again, either they dont even live here or they’re the acutely minority of Turkamen who refuse any level of cooperation

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By Rodney Matthews, January 12, 2007 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If any other country committed this same act on a U.S Embassey, it would be considered a act of war,but with King George the decider, ruler of the world, emperor and tryant of all it’s his god given right to do as he sees fit. Will the U.S Congress please stop this manic before we will be fighting on our soil. Probably Russia and China who will have joined forces when the world has finally had enough.

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By Fools on the Hill, January 12, 2007 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment
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Iran was asked by the Iraqi government to help secure their country.  The US are the invaders that turned Iraq into a hell hole not Iran.

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By eamad j mazouri, January 12, 2007 at 5:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t think the raid in Arbil, Iraqi Kurdistan was a smart move by US military, or at least the way it was carried out.KRG is an ally of US and has cooperated with United States on all issues that are faced in Iraq.There was no need for such an action thattokk Kurds by surprise and may have antagonized many ordinary Kurds.If the operation was handled more subtly through cooperation and with KRG knowledge it would have had the same intended results without creating chaos in Iraqi Kurdistan, that has ,unlike the rest of Iraq, a US friendly functional regional government ready and willing to help on all the major issues that concern US in Iraq including Kurdistan. I hope this was an incident that will not be repeated in the future and the strong ties between Kurdish government and US will remain as strong as they were before this unfortunate incident.

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By Michelle, January 12, 2007 at 4:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Embassies are part of the country they represent.
It’s my understanding that to attack an American embassy anywhere in the world is to attack American soil.

We just attacked Iran.

Is there any logical argument for Iran NOT to act as we would if it was our embassy?

And… isn’t that just what the Resident of the White House wants?

Can you spell T-h-e-r-m-o-n-u-c-l-e-a-r w-a-r-f-a-r-e?

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By Spinoza, January 11, 2007 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment
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It looks like the Ameriscum are trying to create provocations so that Iran would attack American forces more than likely in the Persian Gulf.

This is probably preliminary to an attack on Iran.

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By Quy Tran, January 11, 2007 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment
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Bush/Cheney & Co. start using jungle law in front of civilized world.

Are they still human beings or something else ?

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