ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani on Sunday extended his condolences to the family of the late US President, George H. W. Bush, highlighting his role in protecting the people of the Kurdistan Region after he imposed a no-fly zone in 1991.
“On the occasion of the passing of the former President of the United States of America, George H. W. Bush, I extend my condolences and sympathy to his esteemed family, especially to the former President George W. Bush, his friends, and colleagues. I also express my sympathies with them in these difficult times,” Barzani said in a statement.
“The people of Kurdistan [Region] have great appreciation and gratitude for the role of President H. W. Bush, who, in 1991, established a no-fly zone over the Kurdistan Region, protecting the people of Kurdistan from the oppression and aggression of the Baath regime,” Barzani added.
Bush was the 41st president of America and lived longer than any of his predecessors. He died at 10:10 p.m. Central Time, according to a statement issued by Jim McGrath, his longtime spokesperson.
“President Bush will always be alive in the memory of the people of Kurdistan,” the Kurdish Premier said.
The no-fly zone was proclaimed by the US, UK, and France during the Gulf War of 1991 to protect the people of the Kurdistan Region. Iraqi aircraft were forbidden from flying within the zone, effectively protecting Kurds from the regime in Baghdad.
The policy was enforced by the US, UK, and French aircraft patrols until France withdrew in 1998.
Editing by Nadia Riva