Monday, October 16, 2017

We should not be involved in this

In 2015, the National government sent New Zealand troops to Iraq. Their role there was to train the Iraqi army so it could be used to fight "terrorists". Now, the army we helped train is being used to invade Kurdistan:

Iraqi forces were reported to be advancing on Kirkuk after prime minister of Iraq, Haidar al-Abadi, ordered his army to “impose security” on the oil-rich Kurdish city.

Kurdish and Iraqi officials reported that forces began moving at midnight on Sunday towards oil fields and an important air base held by Kurdish forces near the city.

The governor of Kirkuk, Najmaldin Karim, urged the public to come out onto the streets and voiced his confidence that Peshmerga forces would be able to protect the city. “We saw some of the young people who expressed their readiness to help their Peshmerga brothers to defend the land,” he told Rudaw, a Kurdish media network.

The Kurds voted democraticly for independence last month. But rather than negotiate a peaceful divorce, it looks like rump Iraq is going to suppress them with military force - just like Saddam did. And that suppression (the smashing of cities, the murder of civilians) is going to be done by troops trained by kiwis.

This is not something we should be supporting. New Zealand should withdraw its troops from Iraq immediately.