Iraqi Kurds prepared to send more fighters to Kobane: Barzani
President of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region Massoud Barzani speaks during a news conference in Arbil. REUTERS PhotoIraqi Kurdistan is prepared to deploy more forces to the Syrian border town of Kobane if asked, the region’s president said in a statement, in which he thanked Turkey and the U.S. for their cooperation in sending Iraqi Kurds to the Syrian town.
President of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Masoud Barzani said they only sent a “backup force and weaponry” to Kobane, adding, “We will not hesitate to send more Peshmerga troops if the conditions at the battlefront change or if there is a request for further troops and we once again have consent.”
Barzani also stated Turkish approval and U.S. support enabled Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters to go to Kobane to reinforce the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The leaders of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Kobane had requested a backup team of Peshmerga with heavy weapons “and based on their request we decided to send this force,” Barzani said.
“[U.S.] Secretary of State John Kerry in a telephone conversation told me they were working with Turkey about sending Peshmerga forces through Turkish territory to Kobane,” he said.
He also stated the deployment of Peshmerga forces to Kobane had involved several meetings between Kurdish, U.S. and Turkish officials.
The leader described standing by Kobane “as a patriotic duty.”
“It is an honor for Kurdistan and the brave Peshmerga to help any town or village in any part of Kurdistan,” said Barzani. “It is an honor that we are fighting the most violent terrorist group on behalf of humanity.”
“In the beginning, and due to geographical distance and the siege by terrorists, sending support to Kobane was very difficult. But we have done our best with our own people and our friends to make sure Kobane doesn’t fall to the terrorists,” he said.
Barzani also described ISIL as a “racist organization.”
“The group isn’t only an extremist religious group, but most of them are also racists. That is why they have targeted the Kurdistan Region and Rojava,” he emphasized.