German Colonel died of heart attack, autopsy shows

Col. Stephan Spottel

ERBIL, Kurdistan (Rudaw) – The chief of German military personnel in the Kurdistan Region, who was found dead in his hotel room in Erbil on Wednesday, died of a heart attack, according to a post mortem report, Kurdish security officials told Rudaw.

Col. Stephan Spottel, 56, was in Erbil to take part in the training of Peshmerga forces.

An earlier statement by German defense officials reported there was “no indication of suicide or third party interference.”

Germany is an active member of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group (ISIS), and has provided training and weapons for the Peshmerga forces.

According to the Die Welt newspaper Spottel’s deputy, Col. Jan Heymann, has now taken charge of the German military personnel in Erbil.