Kurds Thank US for Support in Shingal Campaign

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Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. Photo: KRG

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—As Peshmerga forces entered the town of Shingal (Sinjar) on Friday Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani congratulated the Yezidi people as well as the Peshmerga and coalition forces for the town’s liberation from Islamist militants, hailing it as an important achievement for Kurdistan and the civilized world.

“I would also like to congratulate the people of Kurdistan in general and in particular the Yezidi Kurds, the Mir of Yezidis, Baba Sheikh and the members of the spiritual council of Yezidis on the liberation of Sinjar,” said Prime Minister Barzani in a statement. “I offer my deepest condolences to the fallen Peshmergas and wish a speedy recovery for the wounded.”

Barzani also thanked the United States and other members of the anti-ISIS international coalition for supporting the Peshmerga forces and the region’s stability.

“I express my utmost appreciation for the government and the people of the United States for their vital support to the Peshmergas during the Sinjar liberation operation,” Barzani said. “We, as the people of Kurdistan Region, are also grateful for the contributions of the Counter-ISIS Coalition members as well as our neighboring countries and our friends in the international community for supporting our region in combating the ISIS terrorists and preserving stability and peaceful coexistence in Kurdistan.”

The Kurdish military announced Friday afternoon that Peshmerga ground troops had entered Shingal and raised the Kurdistan flag atop many buildings.

PM Barzani said that Shingal was the symbol of ISIS’s cruelty where hundreds of civilian Yezidi Kurds were massacred last year and thousands more abducted or displaced.

“Liberation of Sinjar is very important to the people of Kurdistan and the civilized world,” said Barzani. “The ISIS terrorists have committed grave crimes in Syria and Iraq but the most barbaric and heinous crimes were committed in Sinjar. ISIS committed another Anfal against Kurds in Sinjar. Hundreds of Yezidi women and girls were kidnapped.”

Barzani vowed that his government will spare no effort to rescue all Yezidi captives from ISIS hands and gain international recognition for the massacre committed against them by the extremist group.

“Although we have managed to rescue a large number of Yezidi women and girls, still a considerable number of them remain in ISIS captivity,” said the Kurdish prime minister. “I would like to reiterate that we will not rest and we will not forget the pain of Sinjar mass killing until we rescue all Yezidi women and girls from ISIS. The Kurdistan Regional Government will also continue its efforts to gain international recognition for the crimes committed against Yezidi Kurds as acts of genocide.”

Meanwhile Barzani called on the international community to help with rebuilding the town that has suffered severe destruction by the war against ISIS and the group’s demolition of many buildings and Yezidi religious sites.

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