Kur­dis­tan will be cleaned from Is­lamic State within three months

“The co­op­er­a­tive spirit among the Kurds is at a peak, and fight­ing against a mu­tual en­emy has brought the Pesh­merga to­gether with peo­ple from dif­fer­ent places,”

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

The Kur­dish Com­man­der on the Gwer front line, Sir­wan Barzani, said that they have con­trolled most of Kur­dish ar­eas which were oc­cu­pied by Is­lamic State (IS) mil­i­tants. Gwer is a town which is lo­cated in 50 km south Er­bil.

When Com­man­der Barzani and his fight­ers ar­rived in the Qwer, the Is­lamic State was only three kilo­me­ters from the Black Tiger Mil­i­tary Base, which he con­trols. In the past month and a half, his pesh­merga fight­ers, of­ten work­ing un­der U.S. air cover, have made sig­nif­i­cant ad­vances, he says, ex­pelling Is­lamic State forces from more than 40 vil­lages, as well as the ci­ties of Makhmour and al-Gwer.

Barzani said while the US’s as­sis­tance was help­ful in terms of rais­ing the Pesh­merga’s morale and crush­ing that of the ter­ror­ists, the strike in the Gwer area came after the Pesh­merga had taken back the majority of po­si­tions. How­ever, he said that gen­er­ally the strikes were cru­cial to Pesh­merga’s progress.

Re­gard­ing the re­use of Is­lamic state, Barzani be­lieves it was a re­sult of re­cent changes in Mid­dle East.

“The emer­gence of this ter­ror­ist group is re­lated to Mid­dle East­ern changes and I don’t be­lieve that the Is­lamic Caliphate can be stopped by any­one. They are us­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare; through the video be­head­ings and mas­sacres, spread­ing fear among peo­ple,” Barzani ex­plained.

“85% of IS mil­i­tants are Iraqi; old Baathists and Sun­nis who op­pose Iraqi’s cen­tral gov­ern­ment or dis­af­fected mem­bers of the Iraqi army,’ re­veals Barzani.

The Kur­dish com­man­der also said that while there is some co­or­di­na­tion be­tween the Pesh­merga and the Iraqi army, but it is limited.

“The Iraqi army sent a force of 100 to help re-cap­ture the Mo­sul dam; they helped best with bomb dis­pos­als. In re-cap­tur­ing Amirli, the Pesh­merga were in­volved, how­ever cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s aid was not suf­fi­cient and the Iraqi army was not able to de­fend it­self against Is­lamic state mil­i­tants us­ing Iraqi army ar­tillery,” added Barzani.

“With­out the Pesh­merga help, IS would have cap­tured Bagh­dad,’ added Barzani.

He praised brav­ery of the peo­ple in Makhmur and saluted the ar­rival of PKK fight­ers, who de­fended peo­ple in the town. A num­ber of PKK fight­ers ar­rived in Sin­jar after the mas­sacre and also par­tic­i­pated in bat­tles against IS mil­i­tants in the town.

“The co­op­er­a­tive spirit among the Kurds is at a peak, and fight­ing against a mu­tual en­emy has brought the Pesh­merga to­gether with peo­ple from dif­fer­ent places. The front lines be­came a place for the re­union of old friends. We met some of our friends whom we hadn’t seen for 20 years.”

When asked about the pos­si­ble length of the war against IS, Barzani replied that fight­ing ter­ror will never end, but Kur­dis­tan is a place of co­ex­is­tence for all re­li­gions and eth­nic­i­ties.

“Our fam­ily has been fight­ing for Kur­dis­tan for more than a cen­tury now. 100 years ago, Chris­tians and Jews were con­sid­ered in­fi­dels; how­ever, they were liv­ing peace­fully in Barzan vil­lage. But ter­ror­ists do not ac­cept this and they will be a con­tin­u­ous threat to Kur­dis­tan,” Barzani con­tin­ued.

“If the ques­tion means war on the front lines, in two or three months we will re­move ter­ror­ists from Kur­dish ar­eas.”

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