Friday, 18 March 2016 04:30

Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani today met with a senior US delegation that included Brett McGurk, US Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Stuart Jones, US Ambassador to Iraq, and US military officials.

Mr McGurk updated the President on the steps that the US is considering to further help the peshmerga forces with military supplies and training. They also discussed preparations for the recapturing of Mosul from ISIS by the Iraqi army, the peshmerga forces, and the international coalition. Both sides stressed the need for a prior political agreement between the KRG and Baghdad on the running of Mosul after its liberation.

They also talked about the situation in Syria, including the idea of a federal arrangement for country in the future, and the dangers of the escalation of violence between Turkey and the PKK. 

Friday, 09 October 2015 03:30

Salahadin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, ( President Masoud Barzani welcomed a United States military and diplomatic delegation headed by General John Allen, the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. General Allen was accompanied by a number of officials from both the departments of State and Defense. The meeting began by Mr. Allen expressing his acknowledgment of the sacrifices of the Peshmerga forces in the current global effort against the terrorists of the Islamic State, adding that that has even further strengthened the relations between the Kurdistan Region and the United States. 

President Barzani who welcomed the delegation with the presence of the Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council, Mr. Masrour Barzani as well as a number of military personnel including the Minister of Peshmerga Affairs, spoke of the latest military developments in the war against the terrorists of the Islamic State.

President Barzani and General Allen discussed the latest events concerning the efforts against the Islamic State including Russia's involvement where President Barzani reiterated his position of welcoming any help against the terrorists and called for more cooperation between the partners in the U.S.-led coalition against the terrorists of the Islamic State. 

President Barzani repeated on behalf of the people of the Kurdistan Region his appreciation for the support from the United States and other allies in the war against the Islamic State, and added that this war will end with the victory of the free world and the defeat of the cruel terrorists of the Islamic State.

Monday, 12 January 2015 07:00

Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani met with the US Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, General John Allen, in Salahaddin today.

General Allen congratulated the recent military successes by peshmerga forces against the ISIS terrorists and commended the leadership and personal supervision of President Barzani in these operations, in particular the breaking of the Mount Sinjar siege and the liberation of the towns of Zummar and Rabia. He added that other countries in the international coalition against ISIS are also all very impressed by the bravery and the sacrifices of the peshmerga forces in the fight against ISIS.

General Allen welcomed the recent military cooperation between Erbil and Baghdad, and reiterated that the United States would continue to support the peshmerga forces.

President Barzani thanked the Unites States, and other coalition countries, for their military support for the peshmerga forces, adding that the people of Kurdistan are very encouraged to have a good friend like the United States behind them. He said that the recent terror attacks in Paris prove that terrorist is a global threat and it needs a global response.

The President and the US Envoy, who was accompanied by US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brett McGurk and US Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones, also discussed ways of further cooperation in the fight against terrorism, and the military requirements of the peshmerga forces.

Thursday, 11 September 2014 04:30

Salahadin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, ( A statement was released by the Kurdistan Region Presidency today regarding the new outlined strategy by the Obama administration vis-a-vis the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS. The statement commences by stating that the terror displayed by ISIS is not only a threat against Iraq and Syria but rather against the free world in its entirety.

The statement also states that the Kurdistan Region Presidency finds pride in the fact that the Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Region are in the forefront of the war against terrorism, a war which not only affects the people of the Kurdistan Region, but also the free world as a whole.

President Obama's new strategy of taking ISIS as a direct enemy and launching a campaign against the Islamic State, the statement says is welcomed and appreciated by the Kurdistan Region Presidency, and that such actions should be undertaken by other anti-terrorism forces in the free world. The new U.S. strategy will certainly work towards weakening the ISIS with the ultimate aim of eradication.

The Kurdistan Region has witnessed displacement of tens of thousands of Yezidi, Christian and Turkmen citizens in the recent months as a direct result of the terrorism of ISIS. The statement adds that the Kurdistan Region has allocated and shall continue to allocate its financial and other resources in its war against terrorism.





Thursday, 07 August 2014 18:00

Washington Post Editorial Board

A NEW humanitarian and security crisis has erupted in northern Iraq, where the al-Qaeda-derived Islamic State borders territories controlled by Iraqi and Syrian Kurds. Since last weekend, tens of thousands of civilians have been trapped on a mountainside near the Iraqi town of Sinjar, which was captured by Islamic State fighters. The refugees, including an estimated 25,000 children, lack supplies of food and water and could perish in a matter of days unless a relief corridor is opened, according to the United Nations. Meanwhile, the extremist forces are threatening to capture Iraq’s two largest dams and are pressing toward Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Both the potential human cost and the threat to U.S. interests are vastly greater than in the Gaza Strip, which has consumed the attention of Secretary of State John F. Kerry and senior White House officials in recent weeks. An Iraqi minority group concentrated in the contested area, the Yazidis, is facing nothing less than genocide at the hands of the Islamic State, which considers the sect heretical. Meanwhile, the strongest and most reliable U.S. ally remaining in the region, the Kurdistan government, is struggling to hold the line against Islamic State forces.

The Obama administration’s response to this emergency, however, has been listless. U.S. officials have reportedly authorized the direct supply of munitions to Kurdish forces, which have been attempting to retake Sinjar, and have coordinated attacks by the Iraqi air force against Islamic State targets. It has also pushed the Iraqi government to carry out a humanitarian air drop in the area where the Yazidi refugees are stranded, though the operation achieved only limited results, according to a report by The Post’s Loveday Morris.

Kurdish forces still suffer from the warped and outdated U.S. policy toward Iraq, which prioritizes maintaining a strong central government in Baghdad over aiding the secular, democratic and pro-Western Kurds. A Kurdish delegation that visited Washington last month seeking direct military aid to fight the Islamic State was rebuffed. Administration officials contend they cannot act without the consent and cooperation of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, even though his sectarian policies are largely responsible for returning the country to civil war.

President Obama dispatched some 800 U.S. personnel to Iraq earlier this summer in order to evaluate the Islamic State threat, protect the U.S. embassy and coordinate assistance. But the administration has refrained from major new aid initiatives or U.S. military action, saying that it first wants to see the formation of a broadly representative Iraqi government. That goal may not be achievable in the near future, or ever; meanwhile, the extremist Islamist forces continue to advance, both in Iraq and Syria.

Mr. Obama is right to deny new support to the Iraqi government as long as the toxic Mr. Maliki remains in office. But it can and should act immediately to address the humanitarian crisis in northern Iraq and to further support Kurdish forces, which face the Islamic state along a 600-mile border. If the Iraqi airlift of supplies to the stranded Yazidis is ineffective, the United States should consider other action to save the refugees. It also should supply Kurds with the heavy weapons they have requested and, if necessary, use U.S. air power to stop the Islamic State forces from advancing further.





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