Certain PUK members helped enemies attack Kirkuk: Kosrat Rasul
A number of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party's members, without the party leadership's knowledge, agreed to help the Kurdistan Region's 'enemies for temporary personal gains,' denounced the deputy leader of the party.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Secretary-General Deputy of the PUK and the Vice-President of the Kurdistan Region, Kosrat Rasul, stated that the people of the Kurdistan Region in the past centuries had 'made many sacrifices' and faced the most barbaric terrorist group in the world 'for the sake of achieving freedom.'

He mentioned that after paying the ultimate price many times while the Kurdish Peshmerga Forces fought to defeat the Islamic State (IS), the people of the Kurdistan Region were "expecting the international community, allies, and the global coalition to listen to us and respect the will of people."

"But instead they were collectively standing against our people," he lamented.

"It once again proved the adage that the Kurdish people have no friends, but the mountains," Rasul continued.

"They have left our people at the mercy of the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi militia and Iraqi Forces as they attacked Kirkuk and other areas, and conducted mass executions of Kurds in Tuz Khurmatu, burned and looted their houses, which cannot be interpreted as anything but another Anfal [Genocide] on our ancestral land."

He focused on the attack on Kirkuk, accusing some people within his party of assisting the militia and the Iraqi forces in entering the multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk on Monday.

"What makes these wounds more severe is that some people, far from the PUK doctrine, without the leadership of the party's knowledge, helped the occupiers and brought them into the city for some temporary, personal gains. With this disgusting behavior, they have placed themselves on the dark side of our people’s history," the Kurdish official added.

As a Peshmerga Commander on the Kirkuk front line during Monday's attack, Rasul affirmed he did the best he could along with the remaining Peshmerga Forces to push back the attack. "But with the help of some forces operating inside the Kurdistan Region who withdrew from the front lines, they helped the enemy and led to the collapse of our national objective."

"Many of the important achievements of the Kurdish people simply vanished."

He cautioned that what happened in Kirkuk did not mean the end of the road for Kurdistan. "To get up and move forward after falling is not difficult for our people."

The Kurdish official called on all political parties in the Kurdistan Region to unite and learn from the latest events.

"It is the only way to strengthen the struggle of Kurdish nation," Rasul concluded.

On Monday, the Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi Forces assailed Kirkuk and took control of the city. Peshmerga Forces withdrew from some of the front lines after a political decision made by key people in the PUK, which led the Shiite militia and Iraqi Forces to enter the city without any resistance.

Reporter’s code: 50101

News Code: 17316  |  Date: 2017/10/18  |  Time: 14 : 53

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