Peshmerga refutes PMF claim of using German MILAN weapon while defending against them

The Peshmerga Command on Saturday rejected claims made by the Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia and Iraqi forces regarding earlier clashes with Peshmerga forces in the south of Erbil.
author_image Sangar Ali

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Peshmerga Command on Saturday rejected claims made by the Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia and Iraqi forces regarding earlier clashes with Peshmerga forces in the south of Erbil.

On Friday, the Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi forces accused the Peshmerga of using German MILAN anti-tank systems against them during the clashes in Pirde town, also known as Altun Kupri.

“We reject the accusation claiming we used MILAN weapons, and we ask a militia like Hashd al-Shaabi where they got [the US] Abrams Tanks, T72 tank, Humvees, and advanced weapon of the West from?” A statement of the Peshmerga Command of West – Kirkuk – Pirde front read.

“What right do they have to use these against the people of the Kurdistan Region?” The statement continued.

Peshmerga forces defended the Shia militia and Iraqi forces’ attack outside of Pirde, destroying over 12 Abrams Tanks and Humvees, according to the official statement of the Peshmerga Command.

In the statement, the Peshmerga Command of West Kirkuk – Pirde rejected “the baseless rumors” regarding the presence of any foreign forces in Pirde or whether the people of the town had called on the Iraqi troops to attack the area.

“Before the attack, Pirde was a quiet place and a town of peaceful coexistence between the Kurds and Turkmen,” the statement noted.

It also mentioned the Peshmerga had not initiated the war, but defended themselves and tried to stop the advance of the militia and Iraqi forces in the area.

Regarding the participation of the Hashd al-Shaabi, also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), in the Pirde offensive, the statement added, “Their huge number of casualties clearly shows they were the main participants and supervisors of the attack.”

“In the end, we once again emphasize the Peshmerga forces of Kurdistan will not initiate war but will stand fully ready to defend and stop any attack [on the Kurdistan Region],” the statement concluded.

Tensions have dramatically increased between Erbil and Baghdad since the Kurdistan Region’s Sep. 25 independence referendum which the central government of Iraq deemed “unconstitutional.”

On Oct. 16, the Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi forces assailed the city of Kirkuk and took over areas which had been protected by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces since the rise of the Islamic State in mid-2014.

 

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany