US reiterates support for Kurds on no-fly zone 30th anniversary
File Photo -An Iraqi Kurdish boy rides a donkey in 1991 near Zakho, in northern Iraq. A U.S. Marine, part of the contingent to protect the Kurds from Iraq's army, looks on. Photo by Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images
Zhyan News Network
SULAIMANI – Following the establishment of a no-fly zone thirty years ago to hinder the return of the army of Iraq’s then Saddam Hussein’s regime to the Kurdish-dominated areas, US voiced its support to the “Kurdish people” and “strong Kurdistan Region” in the boundary of a “federal Iraq.”
On a day like today in 1993, US, UK and France proclaimed a no-fly zone in 1991 that helped the Kurds to attain autonomy in northern Iraq followed by the establishment of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) the next year.
The no-fly zone was dubbed “illegal” by then Secretary-General of the UN Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
The Kurdish autonomy protected the Kurds from further massacres by the then central authority that killed more than 200,000 of the Kurdish people in the 1980s in the nefarious Anfal Campaign.
“On this day back in 1991, the United States helped in establishing a safe haven by imposing the no-fly zone above the 36th parallel line in Iraq to ensure the safety of the Kurdish people,”
the consulate said.
“The United States reaffirms its commitment to stand with the Kurdish people and to continue supporting a strong Kurdistan Region within a federal Iraq.”,” it added.
93 percent of the Kurdistan Region’s population voted in favor of separating from Iraq in an independence referendum led by the Kurdistan Region President and leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Masoud Barzani on September 25, 2020.
Previously on September 20 the same year, The US embassy in Baghdad strongly opposed
to the referendum at the time and citing “all of Iraq’s neighbors, and virtually the entire international community, also oppose this referendum.”
It urged the Kurdish leadership “to accept the alternative, which is a serious and sustained dialogue with the central government, facilitated by the United States and United Nations, and other partners.”
The Iraqi army returned to Kirkuk and other disputed territories in a large-scale offensive after expelling the Kurdish security forces in October the same year that saw the Kurds lost about half of territory.
The Iraqi federal army and security forces rolled back from the disputed areas in 2014 following the emergence of Islamic State (ISIS) militants that helped the Kurdish forces to retake and protect the area from the militant group.
(Zhyan News Network)