US official praises ‘sacrifices’ of Peshmerga

A US official praised the sacrifices made by Peshmerga forces in their fight against the Islamic State (IS).

WASHINGTON, United States (Kurdistan24) – A US official praised the sacrifices of Peshmerga in their fight against the Islamic State (IS) during an interview at the Transatlantic Forum in Washington, DC, on June 2.

Joseph S. Pennington, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq, in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, spoke to Kurdistan24 and discussed Kurdish independence and the current war with IS.

“I really can’t speculate into the future,” Pennington said when asked about the upcoming Kurdish referendum. “The focus really needs to be on the fight against [IS].”

“[IS] is the common enemy that [the US faces] along with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, and we very much believe that that’s where we need to focus our efforts,” the Deputy Assistant added.

During the forum, Pennington provided a presentation on the current economic situation in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. The presentation, titled “Economic Mosaic of Iraq,” included other guest speakers as well.

Pennington was the former Consul General at the US Consulate in Erbil, Kurdistan, and has worked at US Embassies across Europe including Turkey, Russia, and Armenia among other countries.

Pennington stated that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) should continue to “work with the coalition and government of Iraq as partners in the common fight against [IS].”

He also believes that the fight against IS insurgents is almost over and that the enemy is losing ground.

“Thanks to a great part to the sacrifices made by Iraqi security forces and particularly the Peshmerga,” Pennington said. “We are making good progress.”



Editing by Karzan Sulaivany

(Kurdistan24 team in Washington conducted the interview)