Kurdistan Regional Government
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The KRG lauds assistance provided by the international community

WED, 20 AUG 2014 20:42 | KRG Cabinet

Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq (KRG.org) - The Kurdistan Regional Government would like to express its gratitude, appreciation, and indebtedness to President Barack Obama for taking the timely decision to provide airstrikes against the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) terrorist group that was killing, hunting, and terrifying innocent people in Kurdistan as well as Iraq's ancient minorities: the Yazidis, Christians, Shabak, and other groups.

We feared that we would forever lose these minority communities if the ISIS terrorists were not stopped immediately. We feared that they would commit widespread genocide against these vunerable groups. We also feared that the killing machine of this inhuman ideology would be able to threaten even the very existence of Kurdistan - the only stable, democratic, tolerant Region in Iraq.

We are grateful to the men and women of the American armed forces who have carried out these decisive attacks against the terrorist forces of ISIS.

We would like to wholeheartedly thank the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union for its decision to allow member states to provide the Kurdistan Regional Government with military material and to strengthen their presence in Erbil.

The KRG highly appreciates all other diplomatic, political, and humanitarian assistance provided by several countries, including France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Norway, Turkey, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Japan, Jordan, UN Security Council and UN agencies.

The ISIS terrorists heinous acts of cruelty against our minorities in Kurdistan and Iraq. We thought we had witnessed the worst after Saddam Hussein attacked Kurdish civilians in 1988 and 1989 with chemical weapons, notably the attack against the people of Halabja. We thought we had experienced enough violence and killing when hundreds of thousands of Kurdish civilians and minorities fled Iraq's army in the spring of 1991, seeking refuge in Turkey and Iran. We thought we enduring enough suffering in human lives, oppression, mass killing, genocide, and trauma when Saddam Hussein's regime of destruction was removed in 2003.

We are now reminded that evil forces still surround us, forces with no respect for human life. The inhumane motivations of ISIS and brutal attacks against religious and ethnic minorities have presented grave existential threats against these vulnerable minorities in Sinjar and throughout Ninevah province. Those who have escaped to safety are now suffering intensely and collectively due to the atrocities they witnessed.

Together with the international community, we are taking responsibility to protect these minority groups in Kurdistan and Iraq. We need to make sure that those who have lost their lives are buried properly, while at the same time providing all necessary assistance to the injured and exhausted now sheltered in Kurdistan. We need to do all that we can to find and bring back kidnapped women and children. We must, in the best manner possible, look after the enormous groups of internally displaced people still suffering from the nightmare of what has happened to them and their kidnapped relatives.

Once again we thank all political leaders, members of parliament, military officials, rescue crews, United Nations agencies, medical teams, Peshmerga forces, and the general public for their role in doing their utmost to save as many lives as possible.

We are sure that once the military material and equipment is delivered to the Peshmerga forces, we will be able to protect all the citizens of our Region and safeguard our democratic achievements, religious and ethnic diversity, and culture of tolerance and peaceful coexistence. These values set the Kurdistan Region apart, and the support and commitment from the international community indicate that we are fighting for the right values and standards.

Council of Ministers

Kurdistan Regional Government

20 August 2014