Iraqi army handed areas over to Islamic State: MP

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Iraqi MP Hamid Adil Bafi. Photo: ARA News

ARA News – Exclusive 

Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan – Dr. Hamid Adil Bafi is a member of the Iraqi Parliament and representative of the  Kurdistan Alliance to Baghdad. Bafi, who holds a PhD in Islamic Studies, talked to ARA News about the recent developments in Iraq, including the growth of power of the Islamic State (IS) amid American air strikes against the militants’ strongholds and the armament of the Peshmerga forces by the west, as well as the future of the Iraqi central government in relation to the Kurdistan Region.

According to Bafi, the Iraqi Parliament “has not reached a consensus concerning the arming of the Kurdish Peshmerga army”.

“Members of the Parliament come from different backgrounds and defend their own parties’, sects’ and personal interests, regardless of what is good for Iraq and the Iraqi people,” he said. 

Due to the increasing sectarian and ethnic congestion in Iraq, Bafi was not surprised that Kurdish MPs would support any arming project for the Peshmerga to face militants of the Islamic State (IS), an al-Qaeda offshoot.

“Since 2007, The Baghdad Government (Iraqi Central Government) has abstained from arming and paying salaries to the Peshmerga, and refused to recognize this Kurdish army as a part of the Iraqi defence system, in spite of allocating a budget for this every year,” Bafi told ARA News in an exclusive interview. 

Bafi accused the Central Government of “arming the militants of the Islamic State in June, 2014, under the supervision of Iraqi officials such as Ali Gidan, Aboud Qanbar and Mehdi al-Grawi in Nineveh province and the surrounding areas”. 

Bafi pointed out that the weapons given by the Iraqi army to IS was worth “millions of dollars”, as they were developed, including the heavy 155mm-American artillery and other sophisticated weapons.

“The Iraqi Parliament is a paralysed institution, unable to make any decisions,” he said. “Adhering to the constitution is not part of their essential aims.”

Talking about the city of Mosul and its Dam in northern Iraq, Bafi said: “The Kurdish Peshmerga army has protected this area for years beside the Iraqi military forces. However, the Iraqi army evacuated the area and allowed IS militants to take over the Dam and its surroundings without any resistance, leaving its weapons to IS terrorists.” 

“The dam is located in Iraqi Kurdistan and is part of the contested areas, as the constitution mentions. This problem should have been solved in 2007. The central government is to blame in this regard,” the Iraqi PM told ARA News

Bafi praised the Peshmerga courage and the American support at times of Baghdad’s economical and military siege against Iraqi Kurdistan.  

Regarding the project of independence of the Kurdistan Region, Bafi emphasized the Kurdish people’s right to self-determination and independence. 

“Independence is a national project supported by people of Kurdistan. It is being discussed in Iraqi Kurdistan’s Parliament now to determine its mechanisms and conditions,” Bafi told ARA News

He also pointed out that the Iraqi constitution “protects Iraqi Kurdistan’s right to independence”. 

Talking about the new Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, Bafi said: “Al-Abadi has a big responsibility in solving many complicated issues left by former PM Nouri al-Maliki.”

“Al-Abadi should adhere to the constitution in order to accomplish reforms. The Kurds and other constituents of Iraqi society need to regain trust in Baghdad,” Bafi stated. “If al-Abadi follows al-Maliki’s policy, he will fail even after establishing the government.” 

“The constitution asserts that Iraq is a multi-religious and multi-ethnic state, and each group has the right to participate in the decision making process,” he added. 

 

Interview by: Ahmed Shiwesh 

Source: ARA News

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