Politics

Anti-ISIS Coalition Meets In London, No Invitation For Kurds

| by Edward Arnold

On Thursday, 21 coalition states traveled to London to participate in an anti-ISIS coalition conference to discuss how to defeat the Islamic State. One group that was not invited was the Iraqi Kurdish people. Their leader, President Masoud Barzani, is not happy about it as they continue to fight against ISIS in Iraq. 

“I express my and Kurdistan people’s disappointment with the organizers of this conference and it is unfortunate that the people of Kurdistan do the sacrifice and the credit goes to others,” he said. “The people of Kurdistan bear the brunt of this situation, and no country or party can represent or truly convey their voice in international gatherings.”

The meeting did include representatives from Iraq, but the Kurdish people have been taking the fight to ISIS and deserve recognition. Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told coalition leaders that the Iraqi army needs more weapons and warned that falling oil prices could hurt their military strength.

Other countries present at the meeting include the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, and Germany. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry co-hosted the conference with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

Kerry said that the Iraqi army, along with military airstrikes, has killed thousands of ISIS fighters, including 50 percent of ISIS top commanders. Hammond explained that the conference was on how to further restrain ISIS’s ability following the terrorist attacks in Sydney and Paris.

"In recent months we have seen definitively... momentum halted in Iraq and in some cases reversed,” Kerry said.

They both declared that in order to defeat ISIS, Iraq must continue its commitment against Islamic extremists.

"We don't want to see a reverse of our military victory because of our budget and fiscal problems and we have been assured that every member of this coalition will stand with Iraq in its fight against Da'esh [IS]," Kerry said.

One expectation the meeting agreed upon was that the coalition is going to need two more years to fully defeat the Islamic extremists from Iraq.

“It's going to take a year, two years to push ISIL [ISIS] back out of Iraq but we are doing the things that need to be done in order to turn the tide against ISIL," Philip Hammond said.

While the conference was taking place, the International Business Times reported that Kurdish forces cut off a key supply line for ISIS, killing 200 ISIS fighters. 

Sources: Rudaw, BBC, International Business Times / Photo Credit: Rudaw