U. S. Consul Gen­eral: Pesh­marga is our strate­gic ally in ISIS war

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

In an in­ter­view with the lo­cal Kur­dish Ru­daw TV chan­nel, the United States Consul Gen­eral in Er­bil Matthias Mit­man talks about cur­rent se­cu­rity, political and eco­nomic is­sues.

Talk­ing about the fight against the Is­lamic State (ISIS) ter­ror­ist group, Mit­man said this is the most im­por­tant topic and that his govern­ment and con­sulate are busy with in Iraq and Kur­dis­tan.

Mit­man said this is a top pri­or­ity for the U.S. govern­ment and they are cur­rently work­ing with the Kur­dish and Iraqi forces on the ground on the Mo­sul lib­er­a­tion op­er­a­tion.

“We are con­fi­dent that we will suc­cess in this op­er­a­tion and de­feat ISIS,” said Mit­man. “We will push them out of this re­gion.”

Re­fus­ing to talk about the de­tails of the op­er­a­tion and the time­line, Mit­man said the op­er­a­tion shall be man­aged by the Iraqi Army and the Kur­dish Pesh­marga, who have proved their ca­pa­bil­ity in lib­er­at­ing Sin­jar and other ar­eas, will be a sig­nif­i­cant part of the op­er­a­tion.

“Our sup­port will be in terms of airstrikes, mil­i­tary train­ing and as­sis­tance. Our red­line is all Iraq and Kur­dis­tan Re­gion; we don’t want ISIS to stay any­where else in this coun­try.”

Mit­man also added that the role of the Pesh­marga forces in the cam­paign is a sig­nif­i­cant one and that the U.S. govern­ment con­sid­ers Pesh­marga forces as their strate­gic al­lies in the was against ISIS.

U.S. Consul in Er­bil talked about the fi­nan­cial cri­sis in Kur­dis­tan Re­gion and how his coun­try is try­ing to help Pesh­marga forces and the refugees in the Re­gion.

Com­ment­ing on the political cri­sis in Kur­dis­tan Re­gion and its Par­lia­ment, Mit­man said the most im­por­tant thing is that there is a political so­lu­tion to the prob­lem and that they have al­ways pushed for such a so­lu­tion. He added “we have one mes­sage for all par­ties in­clud­ing KDP [Kur­dis­tan Demo­cratic Party], PUK [Pa­tri­otic Union of Kur­dis­tan], Gor­ran Move­ment or Is­lamic par­ties. They need to meet and talk. I ap­pre­ci­ate the role of Pres­i­dent Mas­soud Barzani in meet­ing the political lead­ers.”

Mit­man also talked about the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion in Kur­dis­tan and the govern­ment’s re­form pol­icy. He said for his part, he is try­ing to bring Amer­i­can busi­nesses to do busi­ness in Kur­dis­tan as an ef­fort to strengthen the re­gion’s econ­omy. More­over, he sug­gested that Kur­dis­tan’s econ­omy has to be di­ver­si­fied and less oil-de­pen­dent.

Talk­ing about Er­bilBagh­dad re­la­tions and Kur­dish in­de­pen­dence, the U.S. of­fi­cial said their fo­cus now is on end­ing the war, re­turn­ing the mil­lions of IDPs to their homes and hav­ing a peace­ful and united Iraq.

Ad­dress­ing the Syr­ian is­sue, Mit­man said they be­lieve that the cur­rent regime in the coun­try has lost its le­git­i­macy and that they hope to see a political process.

“Many con­fer­ences are or­ga­nized with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the demo­cratic groups of Syria,” ex­plained Mit­man. “In Syria we sup­port the role that some Kur­dish forces are play­ing in the war against ISIS. When I talked about Mo­sul and Neinava Plains lib­er­a­tion, we are try­ing to lib­er­ate Raqqa as well, which is a Syr­ian city un­der the con­trol of ISIS. We be­lieve the role of the Kurds and Sunni Arabs in Syria will be very help­ful in lib­er­at­ing Raqqa.”

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