Iraqi Kurds to Push for Independence after Mosul’s Liberation – Kurdish PM

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Nechervan Barzani, prime minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), announced that Iraqi Kurds are going to continue their actions on creation of an independent state after the liberation of Mosul from IS terrorists.

Iraqi Kurds to Push for Independence after Mosul's Liberation – Kurdish PM

Prime minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government Nechervan Barzani (center) and Peshmerga fighters (Photo: waarmedia.com)

Kurds’ actions on creation of an independent state will be renewed after the liberation of Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, prime minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Nechervan Barzani, said in an interview with the German Bild daily newspaper on Friday. He also noted that the liberation of the city may take up to three months given the quick gains, which have already been made on the approaches to Mosul.

“The time has long been ripe for it, but we are currently concentrating on the fight against Daesh [the IS],” Barzani said.

According to the Kurdish official, Kurds are going to meet with partners in Baghdad and discuss their independence, as soon as Mosul is liberated. He also stressed that Iraqi Kurds have been waiting for a chance at independence “for too long.”

“We are not Arabs, we are our own Kurdish nation… At some point there will be a referendum on the independence of Kurdistan, and then we will let the people decide,” Barzani pointed out.

The Kurdish prime minister also noted that the offensive on the Iraqi city has moved fast so far.

“We have taken the outlying districts quickly, but it’s not clear how strongly Daesh will defend the city itself,” Barzani said. “If everything goes well further on, I foresee the city to be liberated in three months at the latest.”

The representative of Iraqi Kurds also announced the need for EU aid to support refugees, who will inevitably appear during the military operation, as well as has asked Germany to supply more weapons for the KRG forces – the Peshmerga, which have fought against terrorists in the Mosul offensive alongside the Iraqi Armed Forces.

“We are seeing that they [IS terrorists] have hundreds of suicide bombers, they must have entire factories where they are making the explosives. That is the greatest threat to the offensive,” Barzani added, explaining his request for the supply of more German arms. “If we do not get more missiles, there will be more and more deaths on our side.”

“1,600 have died, 9,000 have been injured so far in the two years of battling ISIS. ISIS has so many people that have been brainwashed that it now has an endless supply of suicide bombers. We do not [have these numbers], we have to defend ourselves, and we need more Milans [portable anti-tank guided missile systems] and ammunition,” he said.

Some 60 launchers and about 1,000 missiles for them were delivered to Iraqi Kurds by Germany in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, the country has delivered only 200 more missiles.

After the news about the shortage in missile ammunition among Iraqi Kurdish fighters, the Bild newspaper asked the German Defense Ministry to comment the situation. However, the department just said that it did not know that the Peshmerga needs more weapons.

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  • Bobby
  • Gue Bjuen

    this is strange. israel and the US are not waiting till they destabilised iran. if the kurds are allowed to do this by the US and israel, it only means one thing. erdogan choose to leave his neutral positioin.
    it will be interesting to see the aftermath of mosul. if the kurds really declear their independence,
    we could witness a new level of conflict in this region.

    • Joseph Scott

      The US and Israel have limited options in dealing with Iran. Ability to conduct espionage inside Iran is pretty limited, so causing any substantial destabilisation that way is pretty risky. As far as military options, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and Central Command have consistently frowned at confrontation with Iran, even before Iran was Russia’s de-facto ally. They want far more troops available (and hence, other operations paused or cancelled) than the administration is willing to agree to. That all became even more unfavourable with the present situation, and the Russian presence. And Israel, while they are fine with limited airstikes, definitely don’t want to go in on anything bigger without the US. Their public is even more casualty sensitive than most western nations, due to their population size.

      • Gue Bjuen

        i was talking about the timing of the kurdsih state. as israel and the US need saudi and turkey as allies in the invasion of iran. i thought israel and the US will activate their kurdish card only after they’re done with iran. but now there is a high possibilty that they might use the kurdish card in a different way, which can only mean the turks decided to choose one side and one side only.
        ok we still have to wait till what happens after mosul.but if the Us and israel make the kurds declear war against turkey, syria, iraq and iran than this conflict is entering a ww scale.

        • Joseph Scott

          Yes, I understood what you were saying. I was explaining why I don’t think the US and Israel are interested in waiting for a more favourable opportunity with Iran. At this point, trying to break up Iran is such an uncertain and far-off project that it’s not worth including in their current plans and timetables.

          More importantly, I don’t think events are waiting for them. I don’t think the US or Israel intended the current Turkish move. I also don’t think the Turks have ‘chosen a side,’ other than the Turkish side. I think the Turks were frustrated by their limited options and felt like everything was slipping out of their control, so they decide to act before it was too late, and because acting is psychologically comforting, because when one is feeling weak and unsure, acting can offer a feeling of strength, which is doubly important to Erdogan types who are very concerned with being seen and feeling strong.

          The Turkish-Kurdish fight is thus already here, even if starting slowly. The Turks have declared the will drive Kurds out of Manbij and take Al-Bab, then Raqqa. The Kurds have declared they will resist the Turkish advance, and take Al-Bab and Raqqa themselves. The Kurdish advance northeast from Shaba Falls is threatening to cut one of the two Turkish axises of advance.

          But I still think all the players are manoeuvring for position. The Syrian Kurds seem to be heading back to a Syrian alliance, but there is little evidence the Turks are interested in openly confronting Syria-Iran-Russia. They seem to simply be seeing what they can get away with under the guise of the “Anti-IS Coalition.” If anyone else gets drawn in, it would seem to be Syria and maybe Iran alongside the Syrian Kurds. If the fighting carries over to Iraq, the Iraqis are likely to sit by and let the Turks and Iraqi Kurds go after each other, since both displease the Iraqis, yet they clearly don’t feel string enough to challenge either. Watching them kill each other seems like the next best thing to do.