A Statement from President Masoud Barzani
In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate
Proud people of Kurdistan,
The people of Kurdistan are accustomed, in their culture, to respect and abide by religious pluralism and coexistence. They have not intimidated anyone and throughout history they have always been in a defensive position. However, the enemies never stand still and they aim, whenever possible, to harm our people in every way they can. Following the events of Mosul, Kurdistan has only defended itself. However, the terrorists started to provoke and attack Kurdistan, resulting in the recent distressing incidents. Therefore, we decided to go beyond the defensive position and fight the terrorists to the last breath. We have ordered the Peshmerga forces to attack the terrorists and the enemies of the people and the land of Kurdistan with all their power. The recent developments in the areas of Zumar and Sinjar and the tragedy that faced our Yezidi brothers and sisters are heartbreaking. We reassure the people of Kurdistan that we will not relinquish an inch of the territory of Kurdistan and that we will defend Sinjar and our Yezidi brothers and sisters dearly, and that Sinjar Mountain will continue to stand tall. This beloved and indigenous part of our nation will remain proud and it is our duty to protect it. Terrorism is a global issue and it requires an international response and effort to combat it. For years, Kurdistan has been the victim of terror and terrorists. It is unfortunate that we have been alone and that no one has helped the people of Kurdistan to defend against terror. Yet, in fighting terror we have always relied on the support of our people, the Peshmerga, and security forces. We have always adhered to the principles of freedom and the genuine culture of coexistence and tolerance in Kurdistan, and this is our point of strength when it comes to attaining victory against our enemies and terrorists. Today, our valiant forces have started offensive attacks against the terrorists and they are marching forward. I urge the people of Kurdistan, the political parties and the Kurdish media to treat the situation with utmost responsibility and to preserve national unity more than ever. I reassure our courageous Peshmerga that the people of Kurdistan will support them using all means at their disposal, and that they are looking up to your courage, bravery and sacrifices. Finally, I thank the people of Kurdistan for demonstrating resilience – the courageous Peshmerga forces, the voluntary forces, and the proud families of the martyrs. And rest assured that a bright future awaits the people of Kurdistan.
Long live Kurdistan
Glory and immortality to the martyrs of freedom
Masoud Barzani President of the Kurdistan Region 4 August 2014