Addressing the Kurdish Peshmarga Forces in Zummar area, near Syrian border, Kurdistan Region's President Massoud Barzani said that the majority of the Iraqi army consisted of the Kurdish Peshmarga forces at the beginning of the establishment of the Iraqi Army. This, however, has changed dramatically, the president said.
Barzani said that both then and now Kurdish policy has been based on avoiding confrontations between Peshmarga Forces and the Iraqi Army.
"We are trying to make this policy successful," he told a group of Peshmarga soldiers now stationed in areas close to Syrian border keeping a watchful eye on developments in neighboring Syria.
"I am here to thank you for the love and readiness that you showed while the region was about to face a crisis as a result of an irresponsible decision made in Baghdad," Barzani told the Peshmarga Forces during his visit, referring to the deployment of the Iraqi army personnel to the Syrian frontier with Kurdistan Region.
He said that they are trying "their best'' to protect both Iraq and Kurdistan Region.
"If someone thinks that he can challenge Peshmargas, or attack Kurdistan Region, they should know that Peshmarga Forces are always prepared for self sacrifice," Barzani said, signaling strong warnings to Bagdad. "We have agreements and coordination. Whenever things go according to the agreements and coordination, Peshmargas are part of the Iraqi defense system, but in case of an act that infringes Kurdistan Region and Peshmargas, this is in no way acceptable."
President Barzani praised the Peshmarga forces and said he appreciated their "unselfish act' during Ramadan and near the Eid al Fitr when the Iraqi Army deployed troupes.
"I would like to thank you on behalf of the Kurdistan Region's people for your work. Most of you were fasting and even spent the Eid far from your homes and your families protecting your own country."
Barzani also said that they wanted to seize this opportunity and invited the Iraqi Army officers to be present at this date, without success.