The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has waged war on the notorious Islamic State (IS/formerly ISIS) militants after the extremist group seized control of Shingal, a predominately Kurdish-Yezidi community in August 2014.
Several states have intervened to stop the territorial advances of ISIS. The US convened partner countries to fight against ISIS — countries provided military aid to Kurdish ground troops, and military consultations to curb ISIS spread in the region.
The ISIS group have successfully managed to maintain control over Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul since June. They failed to seize control of Kirkuk, which falls under one of the disputed territories between Kurdistan Region and the Iraqi central government.
The Kurdish armed forces, which are referred to as Peshmerga have resist ISIS attacks. They have sustained heavy losses in the process, despite ongoing training by coalition countries, and aid.
Since ISIS emerged publicly in Iraq, Kurdish media outlets have collectively failed to act responsibly. They have revealed Peshmerga tactics, intentions and strategies to combat ISIS. In the initial months, news outlets exploited their networking by interviewing Peshmergas, senior leaders, where they revealed their tactics against ISIS.
Sensationalist titles included, “Peshmerga to launch offensive on Mosul dam” or key positions of Peshmerga forces were revealed. Inevitably, these played a role in undermining the manpower of Peshmerga forces, and consequently giving ISIS the upper-hand to repel their attacks. As a result, the Kurdistan Region presidency issued a ruling against Peshmerga forces speaking directly to media outlets.
Despite this, the Kurdistan Region Ministry of Peshmerga (MoP) has allowed news agencies to broadcast live, while their men/women are on the battlefield. The lack of regulation from MoP and responsible reporting from news agencies is a damning mark on the advancement of Peshmerga forces.
The blame rests upon news agencies that are after a quick headline or story, and MoP lack of control over media outlets visiting Peshmerga forces on the frontline. The picture below, which was shared on social networking sites attracted my attention because after the directive from the Presidency, these instances should have been eliminated.
It is important that these instances are not perceived lightly, or ignored. Those responsible must be held accountable for jeopardising Peshmerga positions, and endangering their lives to the enemy. They should be given a lesson, setting a legal precedent against future irresponsible reporting.