Iraqi Kurds to Push for Independence after Mosul’s Liberation – Kurdish PM

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Nechervan Barzani, prime minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), announced that Iraqi Kurds are going to continue their actions on creation of an independent state after the liberation of Mosul from IS terrorists.

Iraqi Kurds to Push for Independence after Mosul's Liberation – Kurdish PM

Prime minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government Nechervan Barzani (center) and Peshmerga fighters (Photo:

Kurds’ actions on creation of an independent state will be renewed after the liberation of Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, prime minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Nechervan Barzani, said in an interview with the German Bild daily newspaper on Friday. He also noted that the liberation of the city may take up to three months given the quick gains, which have already been made on the approaches to Mosul.

“The time has long been ripe for it, but we are currently concentrating on the fight against Daesh [the IS],” Barzani said.

According to the Kurdish official, Kurds are going to meet with partners in Baghdad and discuss their independence, as soon as Mosul is liberated. He also stressed that Iraqi Kurds have been waiting for a chance at independence “for too long.”

“We are not Arabs, we are our own Kurdish nation… At some point there will be a referendum on the independence of Kurdistan, and then we will let the people decide,” Barzani pointed out.

The Kurdish prime minister also noted that the offensive on the Iraqi city has moved fast so far.

“We have taken the outlying districts quickly, but it’s not clear how strongly Daesh will defend the city itself,” Barzani said. “If everything goes well further on, I foresee the city to be liberated in three months at the latest.”

The representative of Iraqi Kurds also announced the need for EU aid to support refugees, who will inevitably appear during the military operation, as well as has asked Germany to supply more weapons for the KRG forces – the Peshmerga, which have fought against terrorists in the Mosul offensive alongside the Iraqi Armed Forces.

“We are seeing that they [IS terrorists] have hundreds of suicide bombers, they must have entire factories where they are making the explosives. That is the greatest threat to the offensive,” Barzani added, explaining his request for the supply of more German arms. “If we do not get more missiles, there will be more and more deaths on our side.”

“1,600 have died, 9,000 have been injured so far in the two years of battling ISIS. ISIS has so many people that have been brainwashed that it now has an endless supply of suicide bombers. We do not [have these numbers], we have to defend ourselves, and we need more Milans [portable anti-tank guided missile systems] and ammunition,” he said.

Some 60 launchers and about 1,000 missiles for them were delivered to Iraqi Kurds by Germany in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, the country has delivered only 200 more missiles.

After the news about the shortage in missile ammunition among Iraqi Kurdish fighters, the Bild newspaper asked the German Defense Ministry to comment the situation. However, the department just said that it did not know that the Peshmerga needs more weapons.

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