Erbil – The Kurdistan Region’s prosecutor on Monday called on Kurdish channels to halt their live coverage of ongoing fighting against the Islamic State (ISIS) due to security concerns.
In a public letter, the prosecutor asked K24, NRT and Rudaw to halt their live coverage of anti-ISIS operations. Last Friday’s attack in Kirkuk was covered live by several TV stations.
Public criticism of live coverage has grown during the Mosul offensive. Kurdish authorities are anxious, believing that the coverage could give away Peshmerga positions.
“For the sake of ‘Likes’ you do not put an entire city’s security at risk. Live coverage of war is not right. It tells the enemy everything!” said Sazan Mandalawi, a Kurdish blogger and author.
Mohammed Salih, an analyst and PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania, told ARA News: “While live-streaming of a conflict is an innovative and interesting idea, the dilemma is how to ensure it is not going to affect military operations and planning as well as the safety of the people on the frontlines.”
“How do we know […] that such round-the-clock live-streaming or any form of live coverage from the heart of the battle or in the front-lines in general won’t amount to live intel for ISIS?” Salih asked. “I’m not sure if we have the answers to these questions or if there are reliable answers to these questions. There might be other ways of effectively covering the conflict.”
Kurdish security analyst Ranj Talabani agreed, telling ARA News: “[Live coverage] could help give away the positions and movements of Peshmerga.”