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Arab tribes slam Amnesty report claiming Peshmerga abuses

By Rudaw 26/1/2016
Screen grab of Arab tribal chiefs speaking to reporters.
Screen grab of Arab tribal chiefs speaking to reporters.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Arab tribes in Makhkmour on Tuesday condemned the latest Amnesty International report, which accuses the Peshmerga of destroying and burning Arab residential areas and preventing them from returning to their villages.

Nobody has prevented Arab families from returning home, but for the safety of civilians "the Peshmerga transferred the Arab tribes (from embattled areas) to the township of Dibaga near Makhmour," said a tribal chief.

"On a daily basis our villages are targeted with Katyusha rockets, and it is the Kurdish leadership that protected us," he told reporters, referring to ISIS raining rockets on Arab villages.

They are now "in Kurdistan. If there was no Peshmerga, we would all disappear," he said, referring to ISIS takeover of their areas.

The tribal chief dismissed allegations in the Amnesty report that the Peshmerga had blown up or burned Arab homes. Even "if our areas are reclaimed from ISIS, they still have the potential to carry out bombings," he said.

In the meantime, he explained, "coalition warplanes have been bombing ISIS militants in civilian homes. This is the nature of war."

Another tribal chief told the reporters that they "strongly condemn the baseless Amnesty report."

"They (Amnesty) claim that the Peshmerga have burned Arab areas , it is untrue," he said.

Chief of Staff of the Peshmerga Ministry, Jabar Yawar, responded to the Amnesty report on Wednesday on Rudaw TV.

“These reports are single-sourced,” he said. “They’ve given one side the chance to talk and not the other. Amnesty never reached out to us or ask us anything for this report.”


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FAUthman | 26/1/2016
The truth comes out. Thank you Arab tribal chiefs for telling it like it is and for your praise of the Peshmerga. The US forces working with the Peshmerga would agree with you that Arab civilians like everyone else such as Yezidi Kurds in Shingal and others elsewhere need to be brought to safety until their homes are declared free of danger and are habitable!
ܣܗܕܐ ܝܘܢܢ
ܣܗܕܐ ܝܘܢܢ | 26/1/2016
Remember your history! The Sunni Arab monarchy of Iraq suppressed a revolt by the Barzan Kurdish tribe, conducted a massacre of 3,000 Assyrians in 1933 Simele/Sumayl. Suppressed a Yezidi revolt in 1935, suppressed an Iraqi shi'a arab revolt, suppressed a 1943 Barzan revolt until the overthrow of the monarchy. 1963 The Sunni Arab Baathists take control of Iraq; during their power, the Baathists forced numbers of differing Kurds, Assyrians, Yezidis, and Shi'a Arabs and moving them all around Iraq in order to weaken their political influence from concentration. The Sunni Arab baathists assassinated anyone that was considered ideologically dangerous or at least attempted to assassinate them, mercilessly putting down Kurdish and Shi'a Arab revolts and even conducting a civil war against the Shi'a Arabs after the overthrow of the Baathists in 2003. The Sunnis then side with ISIS/Da'esh and allowed them to overtaken portions of Iraq. Alllll this and we're expecting to forgive and gain the support and trust of the Sunni Arabs when all of this is their fault...
Reality | 26/1/2016
No arab areas should be incorporated into KRG, no matter how valuable that land is, these people multiply like rabbits and we know what happens when arab Muslims get a foot hold, they then start demanding. Too much has been endured to allow arabs or any tribal dictator, like barazni, to ruin what can be one of the wealthiest and most developed nations on the planet.
sertip | 26/1/2016
More and more it seems that particular report was preordered, it was taken apart by KRG investigation team but Amnesty is completely silent. Hundreds of Arab villages within KRG boundary away from the front line are protected by Peshmerga, the residents have returned and theirs no problem like these Arab leaders here show. Amnesty claimed Peshmerga was trying to drive out Arabs, does that make any sense if the aim was to empty the areas of Arabs? or taking in more than a million Arab IDPs from other parts of Iraq?
Brzoo Kurdi
Brzoo Kurdi | 26/1/2016
Sham on Amnesty ,i have no respect for Amnesty anymore ,what a horrible lie ,i did trust them ,i am very disappointed in them ,i will never listen to them anymore .

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