WASHINGTON DC, United States (Kurdistan24) – In a recent interview, a former US Marine Corps said that Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are the leading force in the fight against the Islamic State (IS).
General (ret.) Anthony ‘Tony’ Zinni, who was also the Chief of Staff of Combined Task Force Operation Provide Comfort (OPC), shared his thoughts about Peshmerga as well as Kurdish independence.
“One comment I’d like to make is how impressed I’ve been with the fighting capability of the Peshmerga,” Zinni stated.
The retired General explained that the US should provide the Peshmerga with better military support in their fight with IS. “In my view, we should be arming [Peshmerga] better for several reasons,” Zinni said.
“They are the one force that has really stood up to [IS] and fought well,” he added.
He noted that the Peshmerga’s fighting skills and their responsibility to protect the Kurdish people should be enough reason for the US to support them.
The former OPC Chief of Staff also shared his thoughts about Kurdish independence and suggested that it should be worked out “politically.”
“For military people, we don’t get into those arrangements but…we have to consider that maybe the old organization and structure might not be so viable anymore,” Zinni pointed out.
Zinni is also the Honorary Chairman of the Board at the Middle East Institute. During his time as a Marine Corps, he was a four-star general and served in several diplomatic roles as a US special envoy to the Middle East and Africa.
Editing by Ava Homa
(Kurdistan24 team in Washington DC conducted the interview)