Kurds ready to target terrorist in Iraq, Syria: Barzani

Kurds ready to target terrorist in Iraq, Syria: Barzani
Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:02:57

President of Iraqi Kurdistan autonomous region, Massoud Barzani says Kurds are ready to strike terrorists anywhere, including neighboring Syria, while they also avoid to be dragged into the bloody war there.

"We will not hesitate in directing strikes (against) the terrorist criminals in any place," Barzani said in an exclusive interview with AFP, when asked about the possibility of Kurdish action against militants in Iraq or Syria.

"Our duty is to protect the Kurds if we are able," he said.

But the long-time Kurdish leader made a distinction between that and being drawn into Syria's deadly foreign-backed insurgency, which he said the Kurds must try to avoid.

"Our opinion is that the Kurds must stand at the same distance" from all parties in the conflict, so "the Kurdish people are not forced into a war" from which they will gain nothing, Barzani said.

However Syrian Kurdish forces have already been drawn into the fighting, clashing with extremist groups who attacked Kurdish areas in order to secure a land corridor connecting them to Iraq.

The violence has pushed tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds across the border, seeking refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Barzani also said in the interview that Iraqi Kurdistan had provided military training to Syrian Kurds so they could defend their communities -- the first public acknowledgement that this was done.

"A number of young (men) were trained, but truly not with the aim of entering the war," Barzani said.

Barzani also discussed the future of the Kurdish people, saying that they have a right to self-determination and statehood, but that this will not be accomplished through violence.

It is "a natural right for there to be a state for the Kurdish people, but this will not be achieved by violence, and must be done in a natural way," Barzani said.

This "age is the age of understanding, and we encourage dialogue between the Kurds and... the states" where Kurdish populations live, he said.

In recent months violence escalated between the Kurds and some militant groups in the region, as the Kurds fought to keep out foreign-backed terrorists that fill the rank of the opposition in Syria.

The conflict in Syria started in March 2011, when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states.

According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.


string(854) "[{"id":"1504071","sort":"3106251","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/11/alalam_635118421554466509_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Iran Kurdish MPs slam massacre of Syrian Kurds"} ,{"id":"1504217","sort":"3106252","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/12/alalam_635118923504908493_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syria rebels kidnap 13 Kurds, give up to al-Nusra"} ,{"id":"1507508","sort":"3106253","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/20/alalam_635126033401825708_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syria Kurds battle Qaeda in Ras al-Ayn"} ,{"id":"1509113","sort":"3106254","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/24/alalam_635129726168492037_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Over 40,000 Syria Kurds flee to Iraqi Kurdistan"} ,{"id":"1516317","sort":"3106255","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/09/13/alalam_635146672720824672_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Kurds kill 35 Takfiri militants in Syria clashes"} ]"