Erbil (IraqiNews.com) The Ministry of Peshmerga has criticized the Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi for not mentioning the role of the Kurdish troops during his speech declaring victory against the Islamic State.
Abadi, according to the ministry, “while declaring end of war against Islamic State in Iraq, congratulated all of the Iraqi armed forces without mentioning the Peshmerga or its role,” it said in a statement on Saturday.
The ministry expressed disappointment that “Abadi was unable, as a prime minister, to deal with the role of Peshmerga. He marginalized the role of the champion troops.”
“If it hadn’t been for the Peshmerga, IS would have been occupying vast area of Iraq until now,” the statement added. “The troops will never need congratulations from Abadi.”
On Saturday, Abadi announced full liberation of Iraqi lands, declaring end of war against IS members.
Baghdad had declared intentions to retake areas disputed on with Erbil following the Kurdistan Region’s vote for independence from Iraq in September, urging Peshmerga to cooperate with federal troops.
Iraqi government forces approached the southern borders of Erbil, capital of semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region, shortly after engaging in clashes with the region’s forces in northern Kirkuk in October.
Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, have been fighting since October 2016 to retake territories Islamic State had occupied.