08:53 GMT01 April 2020
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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)

    Despite a lack of support from the Iraqi government in the fight against Daesh (Islamic State), Kurdish Peshmerga forces are determined to push the jihadists out of Iraqi Kurdistan, official Peshmerga representative General Helgurd Hikmet told Sputnik in an exclusive interview.

    Daesh militants currently control only about 5 percent of Kurdish lands in Iraq and seeing that the end is near, Peshmerga forces are ready to push through and completely eliminate the terrorists who have invaded their homeland.

    "We'll clean Daesh from Iraqi Kurdistan," Hikmet told Sputnik.

    According to the general, there are 160,000 Peshmerga forces in Iraqi Kurdistan. As a result of fierce fighting against Daesh, Kurds have lost 1,345 soldiers, around 8,000 have been injured and another 62 are missing in action.

    The Kurds captured some Daesh terrorists alive and sent them to the government to face justice, the Peshmerga official said.

    When talking about coordination between Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi Army, the general complained that the government has failed to provide support to the Kurds. If the Peshmerga militia hadn't rallied up its own forces to protect themselves and the Kurdish population in Iraqi Kurdistan, Daesh would have killed them all.

    "Unfortunately, the Iraqi central government doesn't provide support to Peshmerga. Although support is much-needed," Hikmet said.

    The Kurdish general said if the Iraqi government fails to provide any military support or deliver economic development to the region, then there is no point for Kurdistan to stay part of Iraq.

    To prove his point, Hikmet said that last year an unofficial referendum was held in the region and 98 percent of the population said they wanted to live in an independent Kurdistan.

    Iraqi Kurds have played an active role in the fight against Daesh. Kurdish militia managed not only to stop Daesh attacks last year but also push the jihadists out of their own territories.

    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)


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    militia forces, independence, support, Peshmerga, Daesh, Helgurd Hikmet, Iraqi Kurdistan
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