“We Need More from U.S. to Fight ISIS.”

In an in­ter­view with NBC’s Nightly News, the Head of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Se­cu­rity Coun­cil Mas­rour Barzani

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Mas­rour Barzani the Head of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Se­cu­rity Coun­cil

In an in­ter­view with NBC’s Nightly News, the Head of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Se­cu­rity Coun­cil Mas­rour Barzani spoke about the need for more weapons to end the war with the Is­lamic State as quickly as pos­si­ble.

“Right now it looks as if this is go­ing to be a long war,” he said.

Asked by the in­ter­viewer, Richard En­gel, if Obama’s praise helped, Barzani replied, “Prais­ing is good, we see our­selves as trusted al­lies of the United States and the free world, but fight­ing needs more than just prais­ing, it needs guns, and it needs weapons.”

He went on to ex­plain that Obama’s pol­icy to "de­grade and de­stroy IS" is yet to be put in place, from what can be seen on the ground, “We need that strat­egy to be trans­lated into ac­tion. So far we have not seen any se­ri­ous ac­tion that can quickly de­feat the IS.”

Asked by En­gel whether it could work over the longer term, Barzani stressed the cost of drawn-out con­flict.

“It can, it can. But once again – we are sac­ri­fic­ing more lives and putting many in­no­cent lives at risk by al­low­ing ISIS to sur­vive for a longer pe­riod.”

In Wash­ing­ton, US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry re­sponded to the call for a more rapid re­sponse.

“The key word there was not 'quickly' but 'over time'. It can work and we have said con­sis­tently that this is go­ing to take a cer­tain amount of time. Why? Is it be­cause we want it to take an amount of time? No."

“The fact is that the Iraqi army it­self needs to be re­trained and stand up on its feet. There have to be ground troops in­volved in or­der to win this victory and it’s clear they’re not go­ing to be Amer­i­can, they’re not go­ing to be Bri­tish, and they’re not go­ing to be French [or] Euro­pean. They are go­ing to be Iraqi and that’s the way the Iraqis want it.”

“But they’re not ready to move yet and it would be a great mis­take for them strate­gi­cally to move be­fore they are ready. I un­der­stand Barzani’s im­pa­tience, I fully un­der­stand it.”

Kerry ex­plained that the US is pro­vid­ing a wide range of aid to the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion and the Pesh­merga. He praised the Kur­dish forces, “The Pesh­merga have been par­tic­u­larly brave and coura­geous. We have sup­plied them with an enor­mous amount of ammunition, weapons, and other things. As we’ve said from the be­gin­ning, peo­ple need to be rec­og­niz­ing the im­por­tance of putting in place a strat­egy that can win.”

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