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Peshmerga gearing to retake more Kurdish lands from ISIS

By Rudaw 2/1/2015
Peshmerga soldiers.
Peshmerga soldiers.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Peshmerga forces are gearing up for a fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) in areas they call historically Kurdish lands, following victories against the militants in areas northwest of Mosul.

“There is still more Kurdish land under ISIS,” said Seyid Hejar, deputy commander of the special Zeravani forces. “Those areas are majority Kurdish; many Kurds live there and the areas are strategically important to us.”

On a large map on the wall of the operations room, Seyid Hejar pointed his finger at a dozen Kurdish and some Christian towns that he said should be retaken from ISIS.

Kurdish military leaders say that ISIS should be pushed back as far as possible on the Nineveh plains, because their proximity poses a serious threat to both the Kurds and Christians, two historical inhabitants in the region.

“This area is multicultural and we as Peshmerga are ready to sacrifice with our lives to protect every inch of this land,” Sayid Shukur, commander of the 4th Zeravani force told Rudaw on a hilltop recently reclaimed from ISIS.

In a major operation last month, the Peshmerga liberated around 2,500 square kilometers from ISIS near the Syrian border, down to the Gwer-Makhmour region.

The area falls within former disputed territories that Baghdad hoped to resolve through the so-called constitutional Article 140.

The Peshmerga forces, however, plan for half a dozen villages still held by ISIS near Qaraj.

On Wednesday, they captured two strategic villages -- Sultan Abdullah and Tal Shaiir -- from ISIS near Makhmour, enabling the Kurds to link two of their frontlines previously separated by ISIS.

Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani visited the Peshmerga frontlines on the first day of the New Year, to applaud them for their recent victories against the extremist group.

Speaking to reporters, Barzani said that the Kurdish government would bring public services to the areas liberated from ISIS to help their residents return to their homes and start a new life.


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War Of Independence | 2/1/2015
After WW-II we were left stateless,now they want to make us homeless.We will turn this war into our war of independence.In this fight we must be united under one command.Rojava is an essential part of the new Kurdish state,and Barzani should defend Rojava both militarily and diplomatically.
European guest | 2/1/2015
Kurdish military leaders say that ISIS should be pushed back as far as possible on the Nineveh plains, because their proximity poses a serious threat to both the Kurds and Christians, two historical inhabitants in the region. Please (if logistically and tactically possible)take a big BIG area of Nineveh, as much as possible as a BIG buffer Zone. Finally some great wisdom from Kurdish leaders online. The only facts i know are simple. 1) Kurdish governed areas are safer, more prosperous, more democratic and more human rights for women & minorities & religions. 2) Many Arab managed areas are full of viscious murders, tribal infighting, IEDs, Assassinations, kidnappings, religious murderous fanaticism. Its this simple observation why I as a European support the Kurds and hope they will take, keep, protect, govern and incorporate as much as possible territory in Iraq into a new Kurdistan.
Incorporate | 2/1/2015
Kurdish Military Management. PLEASE Do Kurdistan an extremely big favor and service and take an extra 100KM territory additionally to disputed Kurdish territories. Use 50km of this new territory as a buffer zone to protect Kurdistan on this border area from other attacks from religious fanatics and murderous Tribes who will try again to attack Kurdistan in the future. Taking all disputed areas is a great start and for heavens sakes dont let any Baghdad National guerd in but create a multi ethnic, multi cultural fighting military force under Kurdish command from Erbil. Baghdad tried their IRAQ ARAB way (Baath, Sunni Arab, Shiite Nouri Maliki etc) and repeatedly failed miserably. It cost tens of thousands their lives. Just incorporate the Turkmen, Assyrians, Christians, Yazidhi in the Peshmerga forces in places where they form the demographic majority. Empower them in a Multi ethnic Multi cultural Peshmerga force. This will take the wind out of the continuous Bullshit sails of backstabbing baghdad proposals and endless string of broken promises.
Checkpoint needed | 2/1/2015
I read this about the two recently liberated villages on the Tigris. "A Kurdish commander said the group had limited firepower, and were fighting with old AK-47s from the Iran-Iraq war 25 years ago," These Kurdish forces say that they urgently need modern weapons The village of Sultan Abd'Allah next to the Tigris river, with a highway going to Mosul right through village. The Kurds plan to keep the village under their control, because losing it would mean opening up Erbil to a possible ISIL invasion" Build 2 big heavily fortified checkpoints cutting the ISIS areas in two and preventing any Shiite Militias or others from interfering in Kurdish affairs in the areas. Declare the areas off limits as military operations zones. There is absolutely no need to go to MOSUL unless your ISIS. Let Baghdad deal with the security situation in and around Baghdad and Anbar. No need to send interfering Arab troops who want to take credit for liberating areas they ran from like chickens. The Kurds liberated it, The Kurds get to govern it this time. Take Saadiya as a warning what Shiite militias & Baghdad will do.
Nav | 2/1/2015
Wonderful, Rudaw tells ISIL where the peshmerga is going to attack next! the peshmerga commanders who gave the interview should be court-martialed.

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