“We announce to every faction that the Peshmerga’s weapons are not for rent,” said a Peshmerga Ministry statement.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Peshmerga forces will not withdraw from areas they have recaptured from the Islamic State, the Peshmerga Ministry of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced on Saturday.
The Iraqi Defense Ministry announced earlier that the KRG and the United States, in the memorandum signed between them earlier this month, agreed that Kurdish forces would withdraw from recaptured areas in order to bring stability to those regions.
Responding to that claim, the Peshmerga ministry said, “The withdrawal is just for Mosul.”
The Kurdish Peshmerga, says the announcement, have been fighting to protect the land and people of different ethnicities and religions without being financially supported by any faction.
“The war against terrorism has always been our unwavering guiding principle and it is part of the Kurdistan Region’s independence policy,” the statement revealed.
The statement added that Peshmerga participation in the Mosul offensive is not something new and it is not dependent on any memorandum or financial support.
“It has been more than a year since the Peshmerga are ready for that war, but the Iraqi forces were not prepared,” said the statement adding that Kurdistan Region’s President, Masoud Barzani, has several times said that the Kurdish Peshmerga are ready for the Mosul operation.
The Kurdistan Region allowed Iraqi forces to locate in Makhmour, south of Erbil, as part of preparations for the Mosul assault, the ministry claimed, and threatened to stop all its ties and cooperation with Iraqi forces if there is any disrespect for Peshmerga sacrifices.
“We announce to every faction that the Peshmerga’s weapons are not for rent,” the statement said bluntly. “The Peshmerga’s weapons will fire only upon the decision of the people and for the peoples’ benefit.”
“If some people in Baghdad think that Peshmerga weapons are for rent and we are dependent on their permission, they are wrong,” the ministry said.
The Peshmerga ministry added that the US pledged to assist the Kurdish forces in several different sectors including: financial, military, aerial support, and providing food, fuel, and medicine.
“We thank the US for their participation in the war against Daesh (ISIS) and their support for the Peshmerga,” the statement says.