In his televised speech, Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi announced total victory over the jihadist group in Iraq.
He acknowledged the role of all Iraqi forces, including the Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militias, but omitted the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga Forces, a move which caused an uproar among Kurds and led them to boycott Iraqi celebrations marking the end of the war.
“I salute all the victorious: our valiant security, police and armed forces, the Popular Mobilization Forces, our counter-terrorism service, our air force and army aviation, and all the different formations of our armed forces including engineering, medical and logistics units, as well as all those citizens and tribal leadership who offered support and cooperation,” the statement read.
After a strong Kurdish backlash, the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office edited the speech’s transcript and mentioned the Peshmerga in the Facebook post.
The amendment came two days after the speech with no apology issued to the Kurdish Forces, something the people of the Kurdistan Region heavily demanded.
“What happened was not intentional at all,” Hadithi said in an interview with the Arabic-language al-Hurra television.
Kurds protested in Erbil on Monday and criticized Abadi for deliberately disregarding the role of the Peshmerga in the fight against terrorism.
Ties between Erbil and Baghdad have considerably deteriorated following the Sep.
25 referendum on independence held in the Kurdistan Region and the disputed territories, which saw an overwhelming majority vote in favor of secession.
Hadithi asserted that what happened was “unintentional and occurred as a result of a typographical error in the printing of the speech.” He stated that the proof of this was the amendment to the victory speech in Arabic, Kurdish and English.
He noted that Abadi, before leaving for Paris, “stressed the role of the Peshmerga as a force within the framework of the Iraqi system” which played a crucial role in successfully combating terrorism.
Following the sudden rise of the jihadist group in northern Iraq in mid-2014, the Iraqi army collapsed and left behind their heavy weapons, which eventually fell into the hands of the Islamic State (IS).
The Kurdish Peshmerga Forces were the ones to stop the advance of IS and pushed them back, establishing the first lines of defense.
Over 1,800 Peshmerga have fallen while fighting the jihadist group since 2014, and more than 10,000 more wounded, according to the Ministry of Peshmerga.
The Peshmerga have been one of the most effective ground troops in defeating the extremist group, according to the former US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.
Editing by Nadia Riva
Note: The post (No apology as Iraqi PM’s office claims ommission of Peshmerga in victory speech "simple mistake") appeared first on (Kurdistan 24) and do not necessarily reflect the position of IraqNow.news.
You can read the original text from the source (Kurdistan 24).