Massoud Barzani orders ‘death blow’ against Islamic Militants

5-8-2014 – Kurdpress- Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani has commanded Peshmerga forces to “deal a death blow” against militants led by the Islamic State, who have seized large swathes of the country.The president of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) said in a written statement on Monday that Peshmerga fighters had launched an offensive earlier in the day and were advancing on the regions held by the militants, Anadolu News Agency said in a report.Barzani said: “We ordered Peshmerga commanders to fight against enemies of the Kurdish people. “We will attack to strike the death blow to our enemies.”

Barzani maintained that “terrorists” had forced Kurds into a war, despite the Kurdish region having maintained a defensive position after the militants seized the city of Mosul in early June. Armed groups linked to the militants captured the Peshmerga-controlled towns of Sinjar and Rabia in Mosul on Sunday, as well as some nearby villages, leading thousands of Iraqis – including Turkmens, Arabs and Yazidis – to flee the town and wait in long queues to enter the Kurdish autonomous region’s capital, Erbil. The Kurdish forces retook the control of the regions today. The Kurdish leader promised not to leave any acre of Kurdish land to militants and to protect Mount Sinjar near the Syrian border, as well as the Yazidi people taking shelter there. Barzani said they were left alone in their “fight against terrorism” and called for a related international effort and initiative. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki earlier on Monday ordered the Iraqi air force to provide air support for Kurdish Peshmerga forces as they battle militants linked to the militants.