ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – After Islamic State (IS) is defeated in Mosul, the Kurdistan Region will honor borders liberated by Peshmergas' blood, said the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister on Sunday.
Nechirvan Barzani the Prime Minister stated that the liberation of Mosul from IS is vital for Kurdistan.
“Mosul is close to Erbil and Duhok, and this [georgraphic proximity] can greatly impact Kirkuk. Therefore, the liberation of Mosul is very important for the Kurdistan Regional Government,” the PM stated in an interview with a US television, Voice of America.
“Our Peshmerga forces will have the central role, and we coordinate with Baghdad, the international coalition, and particularly the United States. We are at the planning stage,” Barzani added.
Commenting on the factors behind the slow preparation for the city’s liberation, Barzani stated that there are two main reasons.
“From the military and security point of view, who will control the city in the future? The control of the city must be carefully evaluated,” he explained.
“In my view, who controls the city after the liberation is of utmost importance. Aside from this, the Iraqi Army is not adequately ready and could take months to get ready,” the PM continued.
Additionally, Barzani noted that the agreement between the KRG and Washington administration contains two parts.
First, the US will provide financial support to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. Secondly, there will be a military protocol between the US and the Kurdistan Region.
“The military contribution should be given directly to the KRG and no one else,” Barzani added.
He also mentioned that the federal government of Iraq was informed in advance about the military protocol agreement.
Barzani affirmed that IS would be defeated in Mosul, but it would remain a terrorist organization and will try to have secret cells in Iraq launch attacks war in the country.
Regarding Kurdistan’s independence, he highlighted, “The independence of Kurdistan is the right of our people. Choosing our destiny is a legitimate right and will remain a goal for us and all the Kurdish people.”
“What is important for us after [IS] is Kurdistan’s borders. We will decide the extent of our borders by what has been liberated with the blood of our Peshmerga,” Barzani stated.
The PM also said that Baghdad would remain the KRG’s strategic partner whether Kurds vote for independence or confederation.
He added that for now, Ankara and Iran would not be deciding factors.
“We will solve the problems through negotiations with Baghdad,” Barzani acknowledged.
Moreover, Barzani commented on the recent military coup attempt in Turkey and expressed his happiness that the coup failed.
He added that it was a success for people to keep in power a government that received its legitimacy from its citizens.
Linking the military coup to the Kurdish case, Barzani noted, “If you look at the history of military coups in Turkey, you will find all military coups have had dreadful consequences for the Kurds.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany and Ava Homa