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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Peshmerga command: Iraqi military attack on Kirkuk is ‘declaration of war’

By Rudaw 16/10/2017
 Iraqi forces drive through an oil field as they head towards the city of Kirkuk on October 16, 2017. Photo: AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye
Iraqi forces drive through an oil field as they head towards the city of Kirkuk on October 16, 2017. Photo: AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Peshmerga General Command has said in a statement that the attack on Kirkuk by the Iranian Quds-backed Iraqi forces and the mainly Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi is “a flagrant declaration of war against the nation of Kurdistan,” and warned that the government of the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi should pay a “heavy price” for initiating the conflict.
 
It said that the military incursion into the Peshmerga controlled areas in the oil-province of Kirkuk is in retaliation against the right of the people to vote on their fate, a reference to the Kurdish independence vote held last month that saw 92.7 percent of the people voting to leave Iraq.
 
The Peshmerga command also accused some of the Kurdish commanders of the ruling Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) whom it said were complicit when the Iraqi forces made rapid advances against the positions of Kurdish security forces, including an oil field and key infrastructure in the province. The PUK has denied the accusations. 
 
It continued to say that the Iraqi forces, including the Hashd, used American weapons they received for the war against ISIS.
 
Following is the full text of the statement published by the Peshmerga General Command on Monday afternoon:
 
 
Beloved citizens of Kurdistan
 
Public opinion inside and outside Kurdistan
 
The Hashd al-Shaabi forces affiliated with the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards’ Quds force led by Eqbalpur, in cooperation with Iraqi forces started a broad attack on Kirkuk and its surrounding areas this morning, October 16, 2017. This attack is a flagrant declaration of war against the nation of Kurdistan. 
 
This attack, waged by the Iraqi government, Hashd al-Shaabi and forces associated with the Headquarters of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards’ Quds force, is in retaliation against the people of Kurdistan who have asked for freedom. It is revenge against the honorable people of Kirkuk who have shown bravery.  
 
Unfortunately, some officials from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) helped this plot against the Kurdistan nation and committed a great and historic treason against Kurdistan and the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for Kurdistan under the PUK flag. These officials have left some sensitive places for the Hashd forces and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards without fighting and have abandoned Mr. Kosrat [Rasul] alone.
 
We declare this to every party that this attack by the Hashd and Iraqi forces was launched by American weapons, armored vehicles, tanks and other coalition weapons. These American weapons have been given to the Iraqi army and Hashd under the name of the war on ISIS. This was done at a time when the Peshmerga, also in the fight against ISIS, were not given necessary weapons to defend themselves against the terrorists.  
 
We hereby reassure the people of Kurdistan that Kurdistan’s Peshmerga forces is defending bravely with high morale on every front despite having some impurity on the part of some officials and plots by the Iraqi government and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards. We also reiterate that it is impossible for the will of the people of Kurdistan to be broken by these plots and also impossible for us to allow the enemies of the people of Kurdistan to succeed.
 
We call upon all the real Peshmerga of the country and the resilient and enemy-defeating people to do all they can to resist and defeat the attackers. The first person responsible for selling this war to the people of Kurdistan is Abadi’s government that should pay a heavy price for this unfairness.

 
General Command of Kurdistan’s Peshmerga Forces

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Hazhir Teimourian | 16/10/2017
By Hazhir Teimourian in London for all my dear Kurdish friends: You will be free, and we are more united than ever in the past 40 years I have been writing on you. This is a comment I have just put on Wordpress: The Arab-Iranian Shias’ attack on the Kurds – Oct 16, 2017. As I watch all those distraught refugees from the outskirts of Kirkuk, I want to tell you that, from my expeince of a life-time watching and commenting on your struggle, this is yet early days. This is your Dunkirk, but you have not yet lost Kirkuk itself, and you have had many such set-backs in recent centuries and you have always come back to surprise your oppressors and their cowardly and greedy friends outside the region, including the government here in Britain. Secondly, this war of aggession against you was on its way long before your recent (non-binding) referendum on independence in the Iraqi part of Kurdistan. I knew a couple of years ago that when Barak Hussein Obama began to give all those heavy battle tanks and aircraft to the Shias of Baghdad (a province of the Shias in Tehran, really), the Shias would turn them on you as soon as the Western airforces helped them to get rid of ISIS. I agree with my brave friend, Najmeddin Karim, the governor of Kirkuk, and with Goran and others, that this attack has nothing to do with your recent referendum. In fact, i am now beginning to see that intelligence of this plan may have been an important reason why my other old friend Masoud Barzani did not cancel the referndum. This is prbably also why yet another old friend, Hero Talabani, united with Masoud yesterday in not wanting to renounce the referendum. At least now the world knows how all of you, including Kirkuk voted. Again, this is early days. Street fighting inside Kirkuk itself will give a better chance to the Peshmerga to defend themselves against the heavy Obama weaons of the Shias. i think that the Shias will not dare go further into the interior of Kurdistan, but wait to see if economic blackade will force Masoud into surrender. If they think that, they do not know you or Masoud. What a tragedy for the people of Iraq, too. Their much-needed resources should not be spent on a war of oppression that will claim thousands of their lives and last many decades. What foolish leaders! So, all the Kurds must now unite more than ever, and the good news is that i have never seen you so united, in all the four parts of Kurdistan. Now you are firmly established in the mind of the world as a nation, even in the minds of your enemies, the Arabs, the Turks and most Persians. You also have a big presence among the Kurds in the West and these have the freedom to be a thorn in the side of your enemies and Western governments helping your oppressors. Be brave, as usual, and you will be free. Hazhir Teimourian, London.
dfpokzdp | 16/10/2017
PERISH all enemies of Kurds.
Mima risha! | 16/10/2017
PUK should not call them self patriotic, i am shamed of what they have done! Its now video prof on Facebook that they was running away! Jash is the right name for gris treatcheri!
Peter | 16/10/2017
Kurdish people. Many Americans are behind you. We love you. We apologize for the way the US govt is treating you. You are loyal to the US and you treated my son very well when he served in Kirkuk. This evil attack on Kirkuk breaks my heart. The Kurds have been betrayed for 100 years. Know that we are with you at least in our heart. The US govt does not follow the will of the people. But take courage I believe in you.
A. | 16/10/2017
Kurds will prevail! As we always have! We are not afraid of some Shiite amateur soldiers, even with their advanced weapons! The Kurds defeated Isis who are the worst killers in modern history. I am certain we will kill off every one of those coward Shi'ite muslims! Also if Turkey and Iran want a match too, they are welcome to try! Turkey has tried to defeat PKK for over 30 years, and they're still unsuccessful! To the enemies of Kurdistan I say: Best of luck MFs! We will show you what courage looks like!
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