German security official, Stephan Spoettel responsible for training the Kurdish forces fighting against the Islamic State (ISIS), was found dead in a hotel on 23 September.
According to the German Defence Ministry, Spoettel was the head of its training mission in Iraq’s self-ruled Kurdish region. In a statement, the ministry reported that the 56-year-old Colonel, was found dead in his hotel room in the regional capital, Irbil. The German Ministry added that according to available information, “there is no indication of suicide or third party interference.” Moreover, a Kurdish security official told Rudaw that “there is no indication of murder and it could more likely be natural death.”
Germany is a member of the Anti-ISIS coalition, called “Inherent Resolve” led by the United States, and it has sent a military mission to train Kurdish Peshmerga forces in their fight against the fundamentalists. The operation said in a statement that “this incident is under investigation and further information will be released as appropriate.”
According to Die Welt newspaper, Spottel’s deputy Col. Jan Heymann has now taken charge of the German military personnel in Erbil.
In March 2015, a Canadian military adviser was killed and three more injured in Iraqi Kurdistan when their Kurdish allies accidentally opened fire on them.