Peshmerga Role Commended as Part of Iraqi Forces

Peshmerga Role Commended as Part of Iraqi ForcesPeshmerga Role Commended as Part of Iraqi Forces

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has valued the contribution of Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s forces (Peshmerga) in the country’s fight against the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, a few days after the region decried Baghdad’s lack of recognition.

“Peshmerga is part of our forces, and we have greeted them as we did other troops,” Abadi said in a speech on the sidelines of a world summit on climate change in Paris late Tuesday, which was published by his media office, Iraqi News reported.

“Peshmerga have fought alongside the Iraqi army and the rest of our troops to liberate Mosul, and some wanted to separate the Peshmerga and the Iraqi army through the referendum and by playing them against the army,” Abadi said.

“Yet, we have said that Peshmerga are part of the Iraqi people and we should cooperate with them,” the prime minister added.

Abadi was referring to the referendum in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region held in September in which a majority voted for independence from Iraq, a measure which Baghdad deemed unconstitutional and ignited a political war and a later military confrontation which ended with Iraqi troops retaking Iraqi provinces held under Peshmerga.

Making a speech on Saturday celebrating victory in the three-year war against IS militants in Iraq, Abadi seemed to fail to mention Peshmerga by name among the victorious troops, an incident strongly condemned by Kurdish politicians.

A spokesman of Abadi later attributed the incident to a typing error.

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