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 Kurdistan can defend itself against any attack by Iraq: Peshmarga

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Kurdistan can defend itself against any attack by Iraq: Peshmarga  11.4.2012  

Jabbar Yawar, spokesman for the Iraqi Kurdistan Peshmerga security force 2011. Photo: Getty See Related Links
April 11, 2012

ERBIL-Hewlęr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — In the event that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki launches an offensive against Kurdistan Region, Kurdistan could "certainly" defend itself, said a senior official at Kurdistan Region's Peshmarga Ministry.

During a meeting with Kurdistan expatriates in the U.S., Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani said his office received intelligence that a while ago a number of top Iraqi military officials had proposed to Maliki to attack Erbil and advance until Salahaddin resort, where Barzani resides.

Maliki invited the officials to wait until Iraq delivers F16 fighters "so that the works get easier," he added.

However, the Peshmarga (Border Guards) Ministry's Secretary General, Brig. Jabbar Yawar, believes that it is "unlikely" Baghdad will attack Erbil but "whenever it does...Certainly Kurdistan region is able to defend itself."

He thought "the Iraqi government cannot attack Kurdistan" when Iraq's president, deputy prime minister, chief of staff an many other senior officials and thousands of military officers and soldiers are Kurds.

He also highlighted other senior positions filled by Kurds such as the deputy speaker for the Iraqi House of Representatives, the chief of Iraqi aerial forces and the chief of Iraqi intelligence.

He added, the magnitude of Kurds in Baghdad could press the Iraqi government to rely on dialogue and not force to settle its issues.

Sarwar Barzinji, the military adviser for the Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, said purchasing the F-16 fighters and renovating the old weaponry of the Iraqi army dated back to an earlier stage, and not now as relations between Baghdad and Erbil have become complicated.

He also deemed that the Iraqi army cannot attack Kurdistan "because according to constitution, inciting any war, internally or with a foreign country, is subject to the prior approval from the House of Representatives.

"That [consent] is now impossible because both we [Kurds] and many of our friends are there [in the House]."

Now, he added, Kurds not only have "friends" inside Iraq but on an international level "who will not allow for the genocide of Kurds anymore."

A number of recent political events in the Iraqi arena and the suspended issues between Baghdad and Erbil have paved the way for both Iraqi and Kurdistan senior officials to exchange fiery statements.

Barzani who concluded a visit to the U.S. yesterday sought Washington's support for preventing the "recurrence of another dictator in Iraq", indirectly referring to Maliki.

By Rebwar Ali

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