Iraq PM: Kurds to blame for hosting ISIS
Kurdistan's peshmerga forces were in some cases the only force fighting ISIS during the past month's offensive (File Archive/AFP)
Iraq's Prime Minister blamed the northern autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq for hosting jihadists within its territory to launch their offensive on other parts of Iraq, according to Agence France Presse.
Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki said in a televised address, "Honestly, we cannot be silent over this and we cannot be silent over Irbil being a headquarters for Daash, and Baath, and Al Qaeda and terrorist operations."
Daash is what the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is called in Arabic.
Maliki also emphasized that Baghdad could no longer trust the Kurds with their recent announcement to seek independence in light of the ongoing turmoil.
"We cannot be silent over a movement that exploited the circumstances and expanded," said Maliki, in reference to the Kurdish independence referendum.
Despite Maliki's statement, Kurdistan's peshmerga forces were in some areas the only force fighting ISIS. At the same time, Kurdish president Massoud Barzani has "vowed" that, after fighting off ISIS in areas such as Kirkuk, they-the Kurdish forces-will "never leave again."
Maliki emphasized that Barzani's decisions in this regard will "burn bridges with Baghdad," according to the report.
"They (militant groups) will lose and so will their hosts, because they failed to provide an example of patriotic partnership," he said.