Senior Kurdish Intelligence Officer: Freeing Mosul Is A Job For The People Of Mosul
A senior member of Iraqi Kurdistan's intelligence services , Nazhat Hali, talks to NIQASH about the risk of terrorism inside the relatively safe, semi-autonomous northern region and addresses rumours about a Kurdish role in any campaign to push the Islamic State group out of Mosul.
Nazhat Hali heads the Protection Department of the Kurdish Protection and Intelligence Agency, also known locally as Parastin. The Agency is part of security forces run by authorities in the semi-autonomous northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan.
He talked to NIQASH about how long he thinks it will take to rid the country of the extremist group known as the Islamic State. He also spoke about how the security crisis has re-drawn the political map of Iraq, how the region is dealing with the influx of internally displaced persons and addresses rumours that Kurdish military will play a role in the tricky campaign to re-take the nearby city of Mosul.
NIQASH: After the Islamic State, or IS, group took over the nearby city of Mosul last June, it was a little unclear what their attitude towards Iraqi Kurdistan was; and in fact, what the Kurdish attitude was towards them. In fact, some even accused the Kurdish of being on the IS group's side. How has that changed?
Nazhat Hali: Extremism in Iraq is due to a mixture of political and administrative issues. In Iraqi Kurdistan we started off by taking a defensive position because we didn't want to get involved in the long, problematic history between the country's Shiites and Sunnis. That problem has worsened since then and we still don't want to be involved.
NIQASH: You've said previously that the Iraqi Kurdish authorities and intelligence services warned the federal government about the dangers posed by the IS group, before they even took control of Mosul last year.
Hali: If the Iraqi government had paid attention to the information given it and listened to the opinions of the Iraqi Kurdish authorities, then the IS group would not have been able to make the progress that it has, or to become so powerful.