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Controversial shooting at Gorran party headquarters in Sulaymaniyah


At around 01:30 on 11 June, unidentified armed men travelling in as many as three black vehicles shot at the main Gorran party headquarters in Zargata neighborhood of Sulaymaniyah. A police guard returned fire, but was shot and killed. No arrests were initially reported. On the afternoon of 11 June, approximately 300 individuals conducted a peaceful assembly outside the Gorran headquarters to condemn the attack. The conditions surrounding this incident were mired in controversy. Sulaymaniyah Police denied an attack occurred at the headquarters, claiming the incident involved a minor altercation at nearby Anwer Sheikha Hospital. Gorran-affiliated media outlets refuted these alternative scenarios as they called for an intensive investigation.

Gorran National Assembly member Khalil Sarkani accused the PUK of responsibility in a more detailed account of the possible motive. On 10 June, Gorran’s TV channel, KNN, ran a story claiming the KDP deliberately refused to invite certain PUK members to the presidential inauguration ceremony for Nechirvan Barzani. This was said to include PUK members accused of involvement in the loss of Kirkuk to the GoI during the October 2017 events. Motives involving tensions between the PUK and Gorran centered on the government formation process are certainly plausible. Attacks against Gorran headquarters with suspected PUK involvement are not unprecedented, with a much higher profile incident reported a year prior in the aftermath of the 12 May 2018 Iraqi parliamentary elections.


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