A statement from Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi drew strong protest in Erbil, after he had claimed that deploying federal forces in disputed areas a victory comparable to that against terror ISIS.
In a statement, the Kurdish Peshmerga Ministry slammed Abadi’s remarks which were made on Wednesday. The ministry said had not it been for the Peshmerga, ISIS would have never been destroyed.
"It is unfortunate that Abadi linked the killing and displacement of the population of Kirkuk, Tuz Khurmatu and other areas, as well as the destruction, bombing and looting of the homes of Kurdish citizens by the Iraqi forces, with that done against ISIS,” the statement added.
Tuz Khurmatu, which fell to Iraqi forces when they drove out the Peshmerga, saw the brutal displacement of Kurds, killings, arson, looting and burning houses belonging to the Kurdish inhabitants of the town as reported by rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations.
It added hadn't it been for the Peshmerga, “the giant victory which Abadi is now proud of would have never been achieved and the whole word has witnessed that.”
Leaders from both Erbil and Baghdad had hailed the unprecedented cooperation between their forces in anti-ISIS operations, which saw them fighting a common enemy side-by-side.
This is the first time the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces have shed blood together, then Kurdish President Masoud Barzani said on the first day of the Mosul operation. “We hope it’s a good start to create a bright future for both sides.”
“However such remarks indicate the essence of all the grudges that they hold against the nation of Kurdistan. But history has proven that the will of the Kurdistan nation has never been shattered by anyone and will not be shattered,” it concluded.
The Kurdistan Region parliament in a special session that discussed the plight of tens of thousands of Kurds who fled the city labelled the acts of violence in Tuz Khurmatu by Iraqi forces "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing.”
In a related statement, the KRG Human Rights Commission condemned in a similar statement "the efforts being poured by the United Nations Office of Iraq (UNAMI) to form an Iraqi court to address the terror crimes ISIS committed."
It slated the efforts as "an attempt to downplay the size of crimes committed by this organization against the people of Kurdistan.”