KURDISTAN REGIONAL Government President Massoud Barzani meets with US Secretary of State John Kerry at the presidential palace in Arbil.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said on Saturday that although Islamic State have not been eradicated, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters had succeeded in defeating the group's "myth."
"As you know we are in Kurdistan region since August last year in a very bloody and continuous war against this terrorist organization ISIS. And we can say that it has been a continuous war. We are very proud that the Peshmerga of Kurdistan and the people of Kurdistan managed to defeat the myth of ISIS. And now I can say that 15000 square kilometers have been liberated by Peshmergas from ISIS. And now Peshmergas are controlling these areas and ISIS are on defeating. But this is not the end of ISIS and the threat of ISIS still is continuing there," Barzani told the Munich Security Conference.
"The fight against ISIS is not only a military solution. The source of their financial must be dried up. There must be a ideological war against them and the religious islamic establishment must take the fight against them. Whether they be defeated in Iraq if they stayed in Syria as a safe haven they manage to reorganize themselves and they manage to come back and make a threat. So there must be at the same time a strategy to defeat them, to fight against them both in Iraq and Syria. If they will be defeated only in Iraq and they stay in Syria that doesn't mean the end of ISIS," he added.
The Kurds have enjoyed de facto self rule since the first Gulf War in 1991. They are now closer than ever to achieving their dream of full independence. Yet they are menaced by the deadly ambitions of the Islamic caliphate across the front-line.