The Pres­ence of Pesh­merga in Kobani is “tem­po­rary,” says Kur­dish PM

Nechir­van Barzani said that Pesh­mar­gas will only help fight­ing against Is­lamic State, not pur­sue po­lit­i­cal goals

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

The Kur­dish forces will only stay in Syria "tem­po­rar­ily”to help re­in­force fel­low Kurds fight­ers in or­der to de­fend the town of Kobani from the mil­i­tants of the Is­lamic State, the Kur­dish PM said Sun­day.

In an in­ter­view with The As­so­ci­ated Press, Necher­van Barzani, Prime Min­is­ter of the au­ton­o­mous Kur­dish Re­gional said that the in­volve­ment of the Kur­dish Pesh­merga fight­ers in Syria isn't in­tended to achieve any po­lit­i­cal goals, but rather, is geared at the short-term goal of aid­ing fel­low Kurds in the em­bat­tled town along the Syr­ian-Turk­ish bor­der.

“Our role is to back up the peo­ple who are strug­gling on the ground in Kobani,” he said. “I don't ex­pect ma­jor changes in the po­lit­i­cal equa­tion of the re­gion as a whole.”

Kur­dish Pesh­merga fight­ers en­tered Kobani via Turkey Thurs­day — the first from a group of 150 Kur­dish troops on their way into the town, ac­tivists said. The IS group's of­fen­sive on Kobani and nearby Syr­ian vil­lages has killed more than 800 peo­ple, ac­tivists say. The Sunni ex­trem­ists cap­tured dozens of Kur­dish vil­lages and con­trol parts of Kobani. More than 200,000 peo­ple have fled into Turkey as a re­sult.

Barzani said the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment played a role in in­flu­enc­ing Turkey to al­low Kur­dish Pesh­merga troops to travel by land via Turkey to Syria as the con­flict be­tween Syr­ian Kur­dish fight­ers and the IS group in­ten­si­fied in the bor­der town. Turkey had been re­luc­tant to open the bor­der to al­low mem­bers of the Syr­ian Kur­dish mili­tia — known as the Peo­ple's Pro­tec­tion Units, or YPG — to travel through Turk­ish ter­ri­tory to re­in­force Kobani be­cause it be­lieves YPG is af­fil­i­ated with the Kur­dish PKK move­ment in south­east­ern Turkey that has waged an anti-gov­ern­ment in­sur­gency.

"For Pesh­merga forces to move from Iraqi Kur­dis­tan and march across Turk­ish soil to help Kobani… we all know that it was a dif­fi­cult decision,” Barzani said of Turkey's decision to grant pas­sage to Iraqi Kur­dish forces. “This wouldn't hap­pen with­out the help from the Turks.”

Barzani ac­knowl­edged that Pesh­merga fight­ers still face a dif­fi­cult bat­tle against IS at home with fight­ers look­ing to re­take towns across north­ern Iraq. He called upon the Iraqi mil­i­tary to of­fer more support to Kur­dish forces bat­tling the ex­trem­ist group inside Iraq.

“We are still wait­ing for Bagh­dad to send forces, but they haven't done any­thing so far,” he said.

In an in­ter­view with The As­so­ci­ated Press, Necher­van Barzani, Prime Min­is­ter of the au­ton­o­mous Kur­dish Re­gional said that the in­volve­ment of the Kur­dish Pesh­merga fight­ers in Syria isn't in­tended to achieve any po­lit­i­cal goals,

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