Kurds re­ceive in­ter­na­tional aids and forc­ing IS to re­treat

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - Pre­pared by: Salih Wal­ad­bagi

The US and in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity have pledged to sup­port the Kurds to fight against the Is­lamic State (IS pre­vi­ously known as ISIS). The Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment (KRG) has also asked the UN, the EU and the US to send hu­man­i­tar­ian aid for the Kur­dish mi­nor­ity, Yazidi’s, who are trapped in Mount Sin­jar af­ter IS ad­vance.

Obama vows to sup­port Kur­dis­tan

US Pres­i­dent Barak Obama in a speech out­lined the Amer­i­can plan to stop the IS ad­vance to­wards Er­bil, cap­i­tal of the au­tonomous Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, where many US and for­eign diplo­mats serve in for­eign con­sulates.

The plan con­sisted of two lev­els: car­ry­ing out “lim­ited” air strikes, and an ur­gent hu­man­i­tar­ian in­ter­ven­tion to save thou­sands of Yazidis from eth­nic cleans­ing.

“Ear­lier this week, one Iraqi cried that there is no one com­ing to help,” Pres­i­dent Obama said in a somber state­ment de­liv­ered from the State Dining Room. “Well, to­day Amer­ica is com­ing to help.”

“We in­tend to stay vig­i­lant, and take ac­tion if these ter­ror­ist forces threaten our per­son­nel or fa­cil­i­ties any­where in Iraq, in­clud­ing our con­sulate in Er­bil and our em­bassy in Baghdad,” said Obama, adding: “We’re also pro­vid­ing ur­gent as­sis­tance to Iraqi govern­ment and Kur­dish forces so they can more ef­fec­tively wage the fight against the ISIL.”

Pres­i­dent Obama an­nounced that Yazidis are in a great dan­ger and called the threat to the trapped peo­ple as “geno­cide”.

“When we have the unique ca­pac­ity to avert a mas­sacre, the United States can­not turn a blind eye,” Obama said.

Obama called the IS op­er­a­tions as “bar­baric”. The IS ad­vance to­wards Er­bil raised an im­me­di­ate dan­ger for the Amer­i­can per­son­nel, mil­i­tary ad­vi­sors and for­eign diplo­mats and other cit­i­zens who are based in the city.

France ex­pressed its readi­ness to send mil­i­tary and hu­man­i­tar­ian aids to the KRG; Pope of Vat­i­can also ex­pressed his sup­port for the KRG. The US is try­ing to get other al­lied coun­tries on board to send aid to the KRG as soon as pos­si­ble.

Mas­sacre of Yazidis

The ac­tual num­ber of the trapped Kur­dish Yazidi’s has not been known pre­cisely. But Kur­dish me­dia re­ported that it is about 150,000 peo­ple. More than 10,000 of them have been res­cued and set­tled in the Kur­dish district of Zakho which is in the Duhok province.

The Kur­dish Pesh­marga forces have been try­ing hard to open a cor­ri­dor to the moun­tain and take the trapped peo­ple down, who have been suf­fer­ing from lack of food and drink­ing wa­ter.

On Satur­day af­ter­noon, Pesh­marga forces suc­ceeded to open the road to the trapped peo­ple and thou­sands of the stranded peo­ple came down from the moun­tain.

Every­one had a sad story to tell. Some Yazidi peo­ple who were res­cued pre­vi­ously were wait­ing on the Kur­dis­tan-Syria border to wel­come their rel­a­tives. Some of them were dis­ap­pointed be­cause they could not find their rel­a­tives and be­gan to cry and col­lapse.

The res­cued peo­ple put the num­ber of those who died of starv­ing and thirst at more than 1,000.

While IS fight­ers seized Sin­jar they car­ried out huge mas­sacre against Yazidi mi­nor­ity and cap­tured around 500 Yazidi girls and imprisoned them.

Some of the trapped Yazidis crossed Syr­ian border and took refuge in a camp in the Kur­dish city of Dirke and pre­pare to get back to Kur­dis­tan Re­gion through Semilka border en­trance.

Ac­cord­ing to se­cu­rity officials, they had cleared 30 kilo­me­ters of the road from IS mil­i­tants in order to help the peo­ple come down from the moun­tain.

Kur­dish officials thank U.S. aids

The Kur­dish me­dia out­lets have al­ways pub­lished the num­ber of the IS ter­ror­ist>s ca­su­al­ties, with­out men­tion­ing any num­ber of the Kur­dish Pesh­marga forces.

At a press con­fer­ence in Er­bil which was or­ga­nized for Hosh­yar Ze­bari, Iraqi For­eign Min­is­ter, and Fuad Hus­sein, Chief of Staff of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Pres­i­dent Massoud Barzni on Fri­day night, the lat­ter re­vealed the ca­su­al­ties of Pesh­marga forces since Au­gust 2.

“Since Au­gust 2 when the IS-Pesh­marga clashes er­rupted, around 150 Pesh­marga have been mar­tyred and 500 oth­ers in­jured,” Hus­sein said.

He stressed that the Kur­dish forces have been in the state of alert since IS ter­ror­ist forces en­tered Iraq and seized Mo­sul and other Sunni-in­hab­ited cities in Iraq.

He also stated that there might have been de­fi­cien­cies within the Kur­dish forces, stress­ing that the Kur­dish lead­er­ship will try hard to re­or­ga­nize as soon as pos­si­ble.

Hus­sein ex­pressed grat­i­tude to the US ad­min­is­tra­tion for au­tho­riz­ing the US mil­i­tary to sup­port Kur­dish Pesh­marga forces through lim­ited air strikes to stop the IS ad­vance.

On his part, as the Iraqi For­eign Min­is­ter, Ze­bari stressed his ap­pre­ci­a­tion to the US Pres­i­dent Barak Obama, his coura­geous de­ci­sion, the US govern­ment and the Amer­i­can peo­ple to pro­vide hu­man­i­tar­ian and mil­i­tary aids to Kur­dis­tan.

Pesh­marga's ca­pa­bil­ity

The Kur­dish Pesh­marga forces are con­sid­ered as the key force to turn the tide against Is­lamic State mil­i­tants fight­ing in Syria and con­trol­ling large parts of Iraq. The Pesh­marga have won great in­ter­na­tional sup­port.

The Pesh­marga does not have war­planes but it is a for­mi­da­ble ground force. Pesh­marga officials have con­firmed the forces are now equipped with new heavy and ad­vanced weapons, but they have re­mained silent about where the weaponry pack­ages are com­ing from.

U.S. and Pesh­marga officials con­firm

air strikes

The US fighter jets pounded IS po­si­tions in north­west­ern Iraq on Fri­day, Au­gust 8, 2014. It came af­ter Pres­i­dent Barak Obama au­tho­rized air strikes to roll the IS fight­ers back and stop their ad­vance to­wards the city of Er­bil.

The Kur­dish and Iraqi officials con­firmed the US air strikes on two Kur­dish towns of Makhmour and GWer, which were seized by IS re­cently, near cap­i­tal Er­bil early on Fri­day.

“At ap­prox­i­mately 2:00 a.m. lo­cal time, the US mil­i­tary con­ducted a tar­geted air strike against IS ter­ror­ists,” Pen­tagon Press Sec­re­tary Rear Ad­mi­ral John Kirby con­firmed in a state­ment.

Kirby gave more de­tails about the tar­geted air strikes and said that two F/A-18 air­craft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a group of mo­bile ar­tillery pieces near Er­bil.

He ad­di­tion­ally stated that IS was us­ing this ar­tillery to shell Kur­dish Pesh­marga forces de­fend­ing Er­bil.

A Kur­dish se­nior com­man­der in Makhmour stressed that Pesh­marga forces held back IS ad­vances near the district of Gwer, which is sit­u­ated 50 km west of Er­bil, in heavy clashes in the past few days.

PM Barzani re­as­sures peo­ple of Pesh­marga

ad­vance

The KRG’s Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani is­sued a state­ment on Au­gust 6 re­as­sur­ing the peo­ple of Kur­dis­tan that Pesh­marga forces are ad­vanc­ing and will de­feat the ter­ror­ists, and peo­ple should not panic.

He as­sured the “beloved” peo­ple of Kur­dis­tan that the Pesh­marga forces are ad­vanc­ing on the Sin­jar front and have de­feated the IS mil­i­tants.

He fur­ther an­nounced that the KRG with its faith in Pesh­marga forces prom­ises the peo­ple of Kur­dis­tan that it will not al­low ter­ror­ists to de­file the sa­cred land of Kur­dis­tan nor hin­der the con­tin­u­a­tion of life here.

Barzani asked the youths to keep their spir­its and morale as high as be­fore. “We should all be­lieve in our le­git­i­mate cause,” he said.

France join US in Iraq aid de­liv­ery

Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande as­sured the leader of Iraqi Kur­dis­tan, Massoud Barzani, by phone that the aid was on its way, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the El­y­see Palace.

Hol­lande «reaf­firmed the will of France to stand by the side of civil­ian vic­tims of con­tin­ued at­tacks» by the Is­lamic State (IS) ji­hadist group, the El­y­see said.

He also «un­der­lined his de­ter­mi­na­tion to mo­bi­lize the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and said he had asked the Euro­pean Union to take nec­es­sary mea­sures with great ur­gency to re­spond to im­me­di­ate hu­man­i­tar­ian needs.»

The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil on Thurs­day called on the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to sup­port the Iraqi govern­ment as it tries to counter the sweep­ing gains made by IS in the north of the coun­try.

Hol­lande echoed state­ments from US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama that the cri­sis re­quired po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tions, say­ing there was an ur­gent need for «a govern­ment of na­tional unity» to be es­tab­lished in Iraq.

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