Falah Mustafa Bakir, Kurdistan Regional Goverment’s (KRG’s) Minister of Foreign Relations. Photo: DFR
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Peshmerga have not received enough of the support they need in the fight against ISIS and, as a result, have suffered casualties, said Falah Mustafa Bakir, head of foreign relations for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
“This is our concern that, since the Peshmerga are a reliable partner, a force that has demonstrated to the rest of the world that they can make advances, they can liberate territory and hold them, they need to get the right support,” Mustafa Bakir told CNN in an interview on Friday.
He said that the Peshmerga did not receive the air cover and support they had expected in Thursday’s major offensive north and northeast of Mosul, “That’s why we had some casualties.”
He said the KRG is grateful for the support they have received, but it is not enough.
His statements echo those of Halgurd Hikmat
, the media director for the Peshmerga. “We cannot say we have enough supplies when we consider the fight and sacrifices the Peshmerga have made in this war. Even half of what we need has not been delivered,” he told Rudaw English earlier this week.
Mustafa Bakir described ISIS’ attack on Kirkuk today as a new front as ISIS is trying to “demonstrate that they are still there.”
“It will be considered as a new front. This is a brutal organization. They still have the capacity and capability to harm us,” he said, adding that it was expected ISIS would resort to such tactics
But he remains confident the terrorist group will be defeated militarily. “Definitely they will try to do anything possible, whether using civilian population as human shields, using more suicide bombers, booby-traps, land mines, any kind of thing that would cause a lot of damage and casualties in order to demonstrate that they are still there. But definitely this is the final chapter of ISIS in Iraq.”