President Barzani Arrives in Saudi Arabia

President Masoud Barzani and the accompanying delegation to the Persian Gulf region arrived today in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. While there the President is expected to meet a number of the kingdom's officials.

President Barzani Announces Liberation of Sinjar

Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani today announced the liberation of Sinjar by peshmerga forces and thanked the US and other coalition partners for their crucial air support to the operation.

In remarks to a group of journalists following the liberation of symbolic town, the President said, “Today I declare Sinjar liberated. I congratulate the people of Kurdistan, in particular the Yezidis. Sinjar has become a symbol of the oppression of the people of Kurdistan. We have delivered on our pledge to liberate Sinjar.”

The President added that other than the peshmerga forces and coalition air support, no other forces were involved in the operation. He also called on the international community and the Iraqi federal government to help the KRG rebuild Sinjar so that its people can return to their homes. 





President Barzani Conveys Condolences to President Hollande

Kurdistan President Barzani conveyed his condolences to President Hollande. In a message to the French President, the President said that the people of Kurdistan stand with the French people in solidarity, adding that as victims of terrorism themselves, they send their heartfelt condolences to the French people. 

US Vice President Biden Congratulates President Barzani on Sinjar Liberation

US Vice President Joe Biden called Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani on Tuesday to congratulate him on the success of Peshmerga forces in recapturing the town of Sinjar form ISIS terrorists last week, and praised the bravery and sacrifices of the peshmerga. Mr. Biden reiterated United States’ commitment to continue to support the peshmerga forces. 

President Barzani Meets US Deputy Secretary of State Blinken

Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani today met with United States Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Salahhadin to discuss the ongoing efforts to defeat ISIS, and security and political developments in Iraq and in Syria.

Mr. Blinken praised the military successes of the peshmerga forces against ISIS terrorists in recent months, especially the recapture of the town of Sinjar last week. He stated that the United States government would continue to support the peshmerga forces. 

President Barzani said that without air support from the US and other coalition partners, the liberation of Sinjar would not have been possible. He reiterated his thanks to the US and other coalition countries. The President added that the liberation of Sinjar demonstrated that with close cooperation and coordination, ISIS can be defeated. 

The President and the US Deputy Secretary of State also underlined the urgent need to help rebuild Sinjar following its liberation.

President Barzani Receives British Parliamentary Delegation‏

Salahadin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, ( President Masoud Barzani received a parliamentary delegation from the United Kingdom headed by Conservative Party Member of Parliament Mr. Nadhim Zahawi, During the meeting President Barzani and Mr. Zahawi spoke of the operations against the terrorists of the Islamic State by the Peshmerga forces particularly the Sinjar operation which concluded with the defeat of the terrorists. Mr. Zahawi congratulated President Barzani for the Sinjar operation and stated that the British government will continue to support the Kurdistan Region as we collectively strive for the utter annihilation of the terrorists of the Islamic State.

President Barzani made reference to the air support from the U.S.-led coalition and reiterated his appreciation for that support. He also stated that the Paris terrorist attacks law week further demonstrated that these terrorists pose a threat to the entirely of humankind.

President Barzani Meets with Iraq's Defense Minister

Salahadin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, ( President Masoud Barzani received an Iraqi ministry of Defense delegation headed by Mr. Khaled al-Obaidi, the Minister of Defense. The meeting was initiated by the Minister offering his congratulations on the Peshmerga forces' victory in the Sinjar operation last week which resulted in the liberation of the twon of Sinjar. The minister sated that the Sinjar operation was indeed a crucial turning point in the collective war against the terrorists of the Islamic State.

President Barzani and Minister al-Obaidi spoke of the current state of the ongoing and upcoming operations against the terrorists of the Islamic State. They stressed on the importance of solidifying the coordination between the Peshmerga forces and other parts of the Iraqi military system in order to further expedite the liberation of other Iraqi locales which are still in the hands of the terrorists. 

Fouad Ma’soum: Balkanization of Iraq is Impossible/ the Importance of Iran’s Help to Fight ISIS

Mehr News Agency carried out a written interview with the president of Iraq, Fouad Ma’soum of which outlines follow:

In the response to the first question relating to the cooperation between Iran and Iraq, regarding their competition in OPEC, Fouad Ma’soum said: the relations between Iran and Iraq has during past years gone past convergence and reached a common action which is the founder of strong relations accordance with constructive agreement and cooperation between two countries. He added: oil policy of Iran and Iraq as two members of OPEC has to be obedient of taken decisions according to this organization. Iraq tries the unity of members of OPEC and agreement as the main discipline in the organization operation.


Fouad Ma’soum, in a response to a question about Iraqi government’s look toward security arrangement and the role of transregional countries like America and England in this arrangement, said: the policy of Iraq is accordance with peaceful coexistence and its priority is security and healthy in a convergent regional environment in order to improve and peace. All the regional countries have the right to create their international strategic relations with whether America, England, European countries, Russia or China according to what they wish to. However what is important for us as neighboring countries desiring to meet coexistence principle is not to enter those coalitions which tend to balkanize the region and no to use the our strategic relations with great countries in the field of offending and causing insecurity among neighboring countries in the region.


Pointing the existence of intelligence center in Baghdad shared with Iran, Russia, Syria and Iraq, Mehr News Agency, relating to develop these cooperation and possibility for Iraq to demand Moscow in order to raise airstrikes from Syria to Iraq, asked Fouad Ma-soum. He replied that there is the possibility to cooperate with these countries. We are totally prepared to constructively cooperate to destroy terrorism getting a universal threat that we all are suffering; this treat is not limited just to a country or region. Humanity responsibility makes such cooperation occurs. Intelligence cooperation and synchronization among given countries have occurred and are ongoing and this is vital. But I do not believe that in present conditions Baghdad like Syria will ask Russia to attack ISIS in Iraq.


Concerning balancing policy in foreign policy of Iraq, among countries supporting terrorism and its opponents, Ma’soum said: this principle is true and we follow it. Many countries gradually understand the effect of this has opted by Iraq even at different times. Our relations with Saudi Arabia are developing but slowly. To slowly develop is better than nothing. Saudi Arabia has offered a $ 500 million help to Iraq; we came to an agreement to develop bilateral relations in our recent trip to Riyadh when visiting the Saudi king. In addition there has been a proper space to exchange information about terrorists’ movements between interior secretaries of Iraq and Saudi Arabia.


About balkanization of Iraq, cited by some America like Joe Biden, the president said: this is untrue and unreal. Never have such issue put in any meeting, conference or negotiations. We have not heard such talking from any sides; they are just media uproar. Furthermore relating to National Guard of Iraq and its effect on the army Ma’soum was asked and he replied: it was put accordance with the agreement among political fractions as current government got formed and it related general commander of armed forces of Iraq so called the P.M. the job of national guard of Iraq covers all over the country, not special regions. He also, about the role of public forces of Iraq fighting against Takfirists, said: volunteer public forces have been organized to fight ISIS in Iraq and as it is known this occurred by Ayatollah Sistani’s judgment after ISIS’s sudden attack to Iraq and Mosul’s fall. The purpose of formation of these forces was to defend Baghdad and other cities of Iraq; therefore public forces along with armed forces, Peshmerga and volunteers have patriotic mission to fight ISIS in the direction of defending Iraq and freeing tons and countries occupied. It is not possible to discard public forces for fighting ISIS since they are carrying out a national role they have been assigned.  




UK to assist KRG document ISIS crimes against Yezidi women

Erbil, Kurdistan Region ( – Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir today received Baroness Anelay of St Johns, Minister of State at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and UK Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Baroness Anelay announced, “I came here to launch international protocol on dealing with rape and sexual violence in conflict, our aim is to help KRG in the process of providing guidelines on the investigation of sex crimes and the collection of evidence on the crimes committed against Yezidi women for future prosecutions.”

“I would like to congratulate the Kurdistan Region on the way it has welcomed such a large number of Syrian refugees and Iraqi displaced people. The Kurdistan Region has been a great example to the rest of the world and we are grateful for that,” Baroness Anelay added.

Minister Bakir stressed that international community has a duty to step forward and provide the necessary medical and psychological treatment for the Yezidi women who have been victims of ISIS’s sexual violence.

The KRG Minister encouraged Baroness Anelay to assist KRG to increase awareness about the crimes committed against Yezidi women by the ISIS terrorists through organizing conferences.

Both sides agreed to work together to find ways to bring perpetrators of sexual violence against Yezidi women to justice and to ensure that there will be no impunity for them. They expressed delight at the level of bilateral relations between Kurdistan and the UK and reiterated the commitment of their governments to continue working together.

Ms. Evar Ibrahim, member of the Kurdistan Parliament and chair of the parliamentary committee on women, briefed the delegation on the activities of the parliamentary committee in documenting crimes committed against Yezidi women by the ISIS terrorists as well as supporting the rescued Yezidi women.

The Meeting was also attended by the UK Consul General to Erbil, Angus McKee, KRG Representative to UK, Karwan Jamal, and Assistant Head of DFR, Siham mamand. 

President Barzani Meets Head of US Central Command General Austin

Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani met with the commander of the United States Central Command General Lloyd Austin on Thursday in Erbil.

The President and the US general discussed the military campaign against the ISIS terrorists and preparations for liberating the city of Mosul. They also discussed the requirements and needs for the peshmerga forces. Both hailed the close cooperation between the US military and the peshmerga forces, after the recent successful joint operation to free 69 hostages from the hands of ISIS in the town of Hawija.





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