The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has long partnered with the US to promote freedom and democracy in Iraq. From the first days of the US-led operation to liberate Iraq, the government and people of the Kurdistan Region have supported the US in this endeavour. The Peshmerga forces have worked together with the US military and the KRG has provided assistance to the coalition throughout the years.
Commenting on this partnership, President Barzani said, “Today is a culmination of the relations that have existed for many years, a relationship in which we have fought and shed blood together for the sake of the liberation of Iraq.”
Highlighting ideological similarities, the President went on to say, “We share a number of values with the people of the United States; among these are: a strong belief in democracy, strong belief in accepting others in peaceful coexistence, and individual and public freedoms.” President Barzani also thanked the US and its allies for their protection and support throughout the years.
The US played a key role in providing an environment where the values of freedom and democracy could flourish amongst the citizens of the Kurdistan Region. Following UN Security Council Resolution 688 in 1991, the US helped lead an effort by the international community to intervene during Saddam’s brutal reprisals following the Kurdish uprisings of the first Gulf War. The US helped enforce a no-fly zone to prevent Saddam’s helicopter gunships from killing hundreds of thousands of fleeing citizens, and they maintained this protection for the next 12 years until coalition forces accomplished the full liberation of the country.