Mas­rour Barzani: Last Ship­ment of Weapons to Pesh­merga in May

KRSC Chan­cel­lor said Pesh­merga have been sub­jected to 4 chem­i­cal at­tacks

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Chan­cel­lor of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, Mas­rour Barzani, told the BBC that the Pesh­merga are suf­fer­ing from a mas­sive lack of equip­ment from gas masks and body ar­mour, all the way up to tanks.

He also took aim at the fed­eral gov­ern­ment in Bagh­dad, say­ing that the con­tin­ued de­lay in send­ing the bud­get to Kur­dis­tan has had an ad­verse ef­fect on the war against the Is­lamic State (IS).

“We don’t have the kind of equip­ment that we wish to have, es­pe­cially when it comes to heavy weapons. We’ve been ask­ing for them…the last ship­ment we had was in May this year."

“So there is short­com­ing in terms of am­mu­ni­tion and the kind of weapons that the Pesh­merga need in this fight, and this in ad­di­tion to….un­for­tu­nately Bagh­dad post­pon­ing the send­ing of the bud­get has had a neg­a­tive ef­fect as well.”

Whilst much has been made of the MI­LAN an­ti­tank mis­sile sys­tems do­nated by Ger­many, Barzani said that they have too few to de­fend the ex­ten­sive front­line with IS.

“We are thank­ful and grate­ful for all those coun­tries that have do­nated some weapons and am­mu­ni­tion to the Pesh­merga, but let’s not for­get we have been fight­ing for over a year and the an­ti­tank mis­siles like MI­LAN pro­vided by Ger­many are not enough for the area where we stand against the IS."

“We have a bat­tle­field [front­line] that is over 1,000kms – in or­der for the Pesh­merga to be pro­tected we need a lot more than the quan­tity pro­vided so far.”

But MI­LAN weapons are not enough, ac­cord­ing to Barzani, and IS are not us­ing only con­ven­tional weapons. “These are just anti-tank mis­siles – we are also talk­ing about tanks and heavy ar­tillery, pro­tec­tion gear for the Pesh­merga; un­for­tu­nately more re­cently we have seen that IS has used some chem­i­cal sub­stances against Pesh­merga at least on four oc­ca­sions.”

And the lack of pro­tec­tion against the new tac­tics by IS is a real con­cern, “We only have re­ceived about 1,000 masks, and imag­ine that there are tens of thou­sands of Pesh­merga on the front­lines, so def­i­nitely that would be another re­quest, to get more pro­tec­tion to the Pesh­merga.”

Source: BAS

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