Peshmerga Refutes Reports on Alleged Destruction of Arab Homes in Iraq
18:28 20.01.2016(updated 19:07 20.01.2016)
The Iraqi Kurdistan region's Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs refuted on Wednesday a recent report by a prominent rights watchdog that blamed Kurdish forces for the alleged destruction of and arson attacks on thousands of homes belonging to the Arab population in northern Iraq.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day, Amnesty International said Kurdish militias had destroyed thousands of homes belonging to Arabs in northern Iraq in retaliation for their alleged support of the Islamic State (IS) militant group. The 46-page report documents widespread burning of homes and property in villages and towns in the Nineveh, Kirkuk and Diyala governorates, which Peshmerga forces captured from Daesh militants.
'Those who worked on the report compiled it from a unilateral point of view and did not ask the Peshmerga about the contents of the report, whether or not the information was true,' Secretary-General of the Kurdistan Regional Government and spokesman for the region's armed forces Jabbar Yawar told Sputnik.
The report has been distributed by news agencies and has not been shown to the ministry beforehand, Yawar noted.
'The report includes testimony from some IS militants or those who sympathize with the group from an intellectual or political point of view, since Pemsherga forces managed to liberate large areas from IS fighters. Moreover, they want to blame the Peshmerga forces in such a way,' he stressed.
Most of the destruction of the houses in these areas occurred as a result of fighting, during which the Peshmerga troops and IS jihadists used different types of weapons, as well as following airstrikes launched by the US-led international coalition against IS militants positions, who often used civilian houses as their headquarters, Yawar concluded.
The Kurdish Peshmerga is largely considered to be the most effective ground force fighting against IS, having retaken significant swathes of territory in northern Iraq, once controlled by IS terrorists.
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