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Iraq Kurdish leaders deny secret armament deal with Moscow

February 26, 2013 15:55

Up till now, Kurdish leaders have denied any news about a secret armament deal with Moscow, confirming that such a step should be an initiative taken by the central government; at a time when other leaders expected a certain change to take place especially that arming the Peshmerga is legal.

Kurdistan region leader Massoud Barazani admired the Kalashnikov rifle and other Russian made weapons during his stay in Moscow; however this did not mean that Kurds are inclined towards signing a secret armament deal without the consent of the central government. Kurdistan Alliance members consider such news to be untrue fabrications.

“Every day we undergo political and media targeting. This information is untrue and that was an ordinary visit to a friendly country approved by the Iraqi constitution in the economic context”, said Kurdistan Alliance member, Shawan Mohammed Taha.

Kurdistan might not abstain from signing unconstitutional armament deals, according to some political and legal Kurdish authorities, stressing that it was unacceptable for Baghdad to refrain from supplying the Peshmerga forces and the Internal Security Forces with modern weapons as part of Iraq’s defense system.

“The region must provide means of defense if Baghdad refrains from arming the Peshmerga which makes part of the Iraqi defense system according the constitution. Kurdistan is a historical and political entity which obliges the central government to respond to its weapon needs”, commented Dr. Mohammad Sherif, previous member in the Iraqi Parliament.

“Providing weapons for the Peshmerga is a legitimate right, since it was stipulated in the constitution, the central government is obliged to provide weapons to the Peshmerga in the same way it does for the Iraqi Army”, noted Dr Beshara Zankana, Law Professor in Salahuddine University.

Kurdish generals confirm that they depend on a worn-out military arsenal comprising war prizes gathered after the fall of the previous regime. They noted that they have the right to provide their forces with light weapons considering that avoiding the armament of the Peshmerga means that the central government is doing so for political purposes.

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