US refuses to pledge financial support to the Iraqi Kurds

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Kurdish Peshmerga special forces secure the Mosul dam after days of heavy fighting against Islamic State. File photo

ARA News 

ERBIL – The United States government will continue to support the Peshmerga forces and shares the economic concerns of the Iraqi and Kurdish government, John Kirby, US state department spokesperson said Thursday, without promising any clear financial support for the Peshmerga and Kurdish government.

On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister of Kurdistan Qubad Talabani in Washington called on the United States and the international community to bail Kurdistan out, suggesting the biggest threat to the Kurdistan region is not the Islamic state, but the economic crisis.

“We certainly share the – a concern in the sense of urgency over the presence of Daesh in Iraq. And as you know, the Secretary was in Iraq not long ago and he met with Kurdish leaders. As for the economic issues, we’re very mindful of the economic concerns there in Iraq, not just in the Kurdistan region,” Kirby said.

“And we’re going to continue to evaluate ways in which we can alleviate and assist in that. I don’t have anything specific to
announce to you today or to answer this call, but we’re not unmindful of the economic challenges there in Iraq, and as the Secretary conveyed in all of his meetings there in Baghdad that we’re going to continue to look for ways to try to help,” he added.

“They can certainly – certainly, it would be our hope that they leave understanding well and deeply, as the Secretary made clear when he was in Baghdad, the United States commitment to assisting them as they continue to press the fight against Daesh and as they continue to confront serious economic challenges,” Kirby added. “We’ve been nothing but consistent about our willingness to continue to help and support.”

The Kurdish interior minister during his visit to Washington confessed that economic situation has affected the situation on the front lines, and there has been 1 per cent of deserts among the Peshmerga ranks, due to being not paid for months. However, the US did not confirm if they would financially support the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. 

“We continue to support Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga as they continue to press the fight against Daesh, and that support’s not going to wane. I mean, I have a long list of stuff we’ve provided the Government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government. I won’t read it to you, but there’s obviously a long list here of military aid and assistance, to include advisors to help them continue to fight Daesh. And that’s not going to stop,” he said.

The US government previously was is in talks to provide an emergency aid package due to KRG’s inability to pay Peshmerga fighters that pose threat to the U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State, U.S. officials told the Wall Street Journal.

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