Barzani reminds Abadi, 'Mosul wouldn’t have been liberated without Peshmerga'

“If it was not for the Peshmerga, a person like him [Abadi] would never have been able to visit Mosul to steal the success over Da’esh [ISIS] and use it to promote himself.”

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The former prime minister of Iraq and the head of the Nasr (Victory) coalition in the Iraqi Parliament, Haider al-Abadi, wants to destroy the constructive environment between Erbil and Baghdad following last year’s Iraqi elections, Masoud Barzani said on Tuesday.

Barzani’s response came following Abadi’s recent interview with Iraq’s Al-Dijlah television channel on Saturday where he spoke about different topics in the country, including the Peshmerga, Kurds, and Kirkuk.

Barzani, the President of the leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and former President of the autonomous Kurdistan Region, described Abadi’s remarks on Kirkuk, Peshmerga forces, and the people of the Kurdistan Region as “inappropriate.”

“The purpose of those comments are personal and meant to destroy the positive environment that has evolved between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad following the Iraqi elections,” the senior Kurdish leader said in a statement.

He mentioned that during Iraq’s May 2018 parliamentary elections, the components in the country “punished” Abadi and all those who intended to spark a civil war, destroy the coexistence, violated the constitution, and committed crimes in Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu. He referred to Abadi’s electoral list which failed to gain the majority of votes needed to secure the former prime minister’s second term in office.

On Oct. 16, 2017, Iraqi forces and Shia-dominated militias attacked and took over Kirkuk and other disputed territories. Peshmerga withdrew from those areas with no major clashes to strengthen their lines and defend the Kurdistan Region.

During the Sept. 30, 2018, regional parliamentary elections, the people of Kurdistan rewarded Peshmerga and all the defenders of the Kurdistan Region, Barzani said, referring to the result of the polls which increased the KDP’s number of seats from 38 to 45 in the 111-seat parliament for standing up against Iraq’s Oct. 16 attacks.

“Abadi was a disloyal person toward the Peshmerga and the people of Kurdistan,” he continued.

“If it were not for the Peshmerga, a person like him [Abadi] would never have been able to visit Mosul to steal the success over Da’esh [ISIS] and use it to promote himself.”

Barzani currently holds no official governmental post but continues to remain an important Kurdish political figure in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.

He stressed that the Peshmerga forces “engraved” Abadi’s plans to attack the Kurdistan Region just as they had done in the past against other enemies and former Iraqi regimes.

“Abadi himself knows more than anyone else what Peshmerga did to him and his plans.”

In the past, senior Kurdish leaders have said Abadi’s military attack was not meant to control the disputed territories alone, but also the Kurdistan Region as an entity.

Barzani praised the current positive ties between Erbil and Baghdad and noted that “spiteful faces and egoistic rule breakers should not have any role in” Iraq which is in a different situation compared to a year ago.

“The current phase is a phase of responsibility, strengthening the principles of coexistence, rooting partnership, consensus, and balance in Iraq,” he noted.

Since Iraq’s current Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi took office in October 2018, relations between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Federal Government of Iraq have considerably improved.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany