ERBIL — The Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga Ministry expressed concern over the US State Department's recent statement on the victory over the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, which failed to mention the role of the Peshmerga forces who fought alongside the Iraqi army.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the end of the fight against IS on Saturday. However, he failed to acknowledge the role of the Peshmerga forces in his speech.
The US State Department released a statement offering congratulations “to the Iraqi people and to the brave Iraqi Security Forces” which also failed to acknowledge the role of the Peshmerga forces who have fought against IS since 2014, with some 1,800 deaths and over 10,000 injuries in the war.
“As Peshmerga, we are concerned about the US State Department’s statement for omitting the role of [our forces] in the victory over IS in Iraq. The State Department could have jointly released a statement on the success of the war with the Pentagon,” Halgurd Hikmat, the head of Peshmerga Ministry's Media, told Kurdistan 24.
He explained that the State Department may be avoiding acknowledgment of Peshmerga to remain diplomatic to show its commitment to Iraq’s sovereignty and integrity.
However, the Pentagon has always commended the role of the Peshmerga forces in the battle against IS, Hikmat said.
“The Peshmergas are a partner of the Global Coalition to Defeat IS, not within the Iraqi forces. Hence, their role cannot be neglected,” he said.
Hikmat noted that neither Abadi nor any other Iraqi officials could deny Peshmerga’s effective role in defeating IS, adding “The role the Peshmerga played in the past four years has become internationally recognized by world leaders.”