Iraq’s former PM calls for use of force against Kurds to prevent declaration of Kurdish state

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Former Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki (R), Kurdish President Masoud Barzani surrounded by Peshmerga officers (L). File photo

ARA News

The former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has suggested ‘if necessary’ force must be used to prevent the Kurdish president Masoud Barzani from declaring a Kurdish state.

The Kurdistan Region’s Presidency spokesperson Dr. Omed Sabah strongly condemned the statements of the former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, saying that the Kurds will defend themselves against any attacks.

“It is surprising that someone who is a source of the collapse of Iraq and growth of terror, does not feel ashamed of himself and comes to speak up. Someone like him [al-Maliki], who destroyed Iraq, should have ended his life, or at least hided his face from Iraqis,” Iraqi Kurdistan’s presidency spokesman said in a reference to the fall of Mosul to ISIS in June 2014, which was blamed on Maliki in some circles, and as a result he was replaced by the Iraqi PM Haidar al-Abadi.

Al-Maliki’s statement came in an interview with the Lebanese al-Akhbar newspaper.

“Maliki in the interview used threatening words. Here we tell him, this is the field and try yourself, stronger enemies had already tried but were on their knees in front of Kurds’ willing and had a fatal fate,” he said about the Kurdish Peshmerga forces that have defeated ISIS with US support.

Maliki says he helped launch the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) after ISIS occupied Sunni-majority provinces during his terms as prime minister.

There are fears that after ISIS expulsion from Mosul, there would be clashes between the PMU and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, especially if the Iraqi Kurds hold a referendum on Kurdish independence.

Nevertheless, both the Peshmerga forces and the PMU until now officially say there will be no clashes.

In the interview with al-Akhbar, the former Iraqi PM Maliki suggested he did not want to return as a Prime Minister. But some analysts say that Maliki wants to form an alliance with PMU groups to compete in the upcoming local elections in September 2017, and parliamentary elections in 2018.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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