Leaders and diplomats from nearly thirty countries have gathered in the French capital to discuss military action against the self-declared Islamic State (formerly, ISIS) in Iraq. Militants from this extremist notorious group have swathed large territorial gains in Iraq, including the country’s second largest city.
They have waged war on all non-Muslims, categorised as disbelievers, and have targeted minority groups such as Yezidis (or more correctly, Êzidî) in the region. Thousands of Êzidî women were taken as captives, some as young as twelve years old by militants belonging to the Islamic State in Iraq.
These women were sold as sex slaves on the “slave market” in Mosul, some of them were smuggled into Syria and sold for $300 each, at times even less than this.
The international coalition against militants of the Islamist State will be co-chaired by Fuad Masum, the newly elected President of Iraq, and President Francois Hollande.
To get a broader picture of what is happening, read “ISIS rapes, tortures, marries captured Yezidi women as young as 13” — State department report.
What strikes me as odd from the opening speeches made by Fuad Masum and Francois Hollande is the lack of references to those at the forefront of fighting Islamist militants in Iraq — Peshmerga.
More importantly, the role of Kurdistan Regional Government in urging international support, providing a safe haven for minority groups such as Turkmen, Christians and others in Kurdistan Region were not mentioned.
This is not an appeal for praise but recognition where it is rightfully due, and the importance of reminding world leaders that Peshmerga forces can be a competent force against Islamist militants with the right training, and military support.