ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Dilovan Idris Barzani, the brother of the prime minister of the Kurdistan Region, passed away on Monday. The 51-year-old died of a heart attack in Erbil.
"It is with a deep sorrow, in the morning of Monday, April 2, 2018, Dilovan Idris Barzani, the son of Idris Barzani, died of a heart attack," stated Masoud Barzani.
Masoud Barzani is the brother of the late Idris Barzani.
"While I am announcing this sad news, I ask God for him to rest in peace and grant patience for all of us," added Masoud Barzani, the former president of the Kurdistan Region.
Masoud Barzani's office also announced a three-day funeral for the late Dilovan Barzani at Pirmam town in Erbil starting from Tuesday.
Nechirvan, Masoud and Dilovan Barzani stand in the Kurdish countryside in this undated picture. Photo: Dilovan Barzani FB
Dilovan Barzani and Nechirvan Barzani were twins born on September 21, 1966, in Barzan.
Dilovan Barzani did not have a governmental post, but was a social figure, taking part in events and often representing Nechirvan Barzani.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi extended his condolences for the death of Dilovan Barzani, in a phone call with Nechirvan Barzani, the KRG premier, on Monday.
Abadi shared in his sadness with the prime minister and the Barzani family, according to a statement from the Kurdish PM's office.
"May he rest in peace," said Abadi.
Nechirvan Barzani thanked Abadi for the phone call.
Iraqi President Fuad Masum, acting head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Kosran Rasul, the PUK’s politburo, and other figures also expressed their condolences.
KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani expressed his condolences to the KRG prime minister and hailed the deceased's patriotism.
"These beautiful characteristics are normal to be found in Mr. Dilovan because he is the son of immortal martyr Idris Barzani, who alongside my father, comrade Mam Jalal, shared a robust nationalistic relation and ties," read the message of the deputy PM.
Jon Wilkis, British ambassador to Iraq, sent a letter expressing his condolences from the UK, sharing his appreciation for the efforts and patriotism of the deceased.
The co-chairs of Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) also sent a letter of condolence to the PM, saying that the deceased worked to bring about social justice.
The KDP politburo, the KRG parliament, and the head of the Kurdistan Socialist Party, Mohammed Haji Mohammed, the famed Peshmerga, were among others who sent their condolences.
Fazil Mirani, the head of the KDP politburo, described the late Dilovan Barzani as a “great Peshmerga.”
“We are very sad today. It is not something new for as a nation and party to mourn loosing loved ones, added Mirani.
Dilovan Barzani was known for his work in social affairs.
“It is very hard for a nation to lose such a young person,” Mirani said. “Dilovan was a normal person and very friendly with people, especially elders.”
Dilovan Barzani reached colleagues on a personal level.
“He was friends with all of us,” Mirani said. “Given that he was Nechirvan Barzani’s representative for social affairs, he had very good relations with people from all levels.”
The politburo head also expressed his condolences to the party’s leader and Dilovan Barzani’s brother, KRG PM Nechirvan Barzani.
“As the KDP politburo, we offer condolences for ourselves first, then to President Masoud Barzani and Mr. Nechirvan Barzani,” said Marini.
Like his father Idris Barzani, Dilovan Barzani died young.
“The best reward we could offer him, those who died and martyred, is to continue the path of Kurdish struggle,” he said.
Following the collapse of the KDP-led September Revolution in mid 1970s that sought to secure a Kurdish-enclave in Iraq, Dilovan Barzani joined the ranks of the Kurdistan Student Union of the KDP, the ruling party founded by his late grandfather Mullah Mustafa Barzani.
The KDP members then soon regrouped to stage yet another armed struggle against the Iraqi regime, which became known as the Gulan Revolution.
Dilovan Barzani helped to regroup the student union, often through organizing cultural, sports, and political activities, although he was just a teen.
He was particularly interested in collecting documents about the Kurdish struggle, including video tapes and items related to the struggle of the Barzani family, Rafaat Saeed, his friend told Rudaw.
Preparations are already underway for his burial in Barzan, next to the tomb of his late father, and grandfather Mullah Mustafa Barzani.
The US State Department, Consulate General in Erbil, and Ambassador to Iraq offered their condolences to PM Barzani and his family.
"On behalf of the US Embassy in Baghdad staff, I offer my sincere condolences to PM Barzani and all his family on the passing of his brother Delovan," tweeted Ambassador Douglas Silliman.
Lahur Talabany, a counterterrorism official and PUK member from Sulaimani, expressed his "sincere condolences" to Nechirvan Barzani on the passing of his brother.
"May God give you and your family strength through this difficult time," he tweeted.
The Kurdistan Communities Group (KCK), the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)’s political umbrella group, sent a message of condolence to the KRG prime minister. It said the passing of Dilovan Barzani is a tragedy for the Kurdistan nation and the Barzani family.
“Dilovan Idris Barzani was an influential figure in the struggle and resistance of the Kurdish nation for freedom and obtaining rights,” the message stated.
The PKK and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) have deep disagreements. PKK-linked Yezidi groups clashed with Peshmerga forces in 2017 in Shingal. The KRG prime minister has blamed the PKK for causing the Turkish bombardment of the Kurdistan Region’s borders.
Last updated at 5:33 p.m. on April 3.