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Kurdish Cause Never Dies: Barzani

Kurdish prominent political leader, the president of Kurdistan Democratic Party, and the former president of Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, relates the ups and downs in the Kurdish struggle for freedom during the modern history of the Middle East, emphasizing that the Kurdish cause will never die.

In an interview with MBC 1 television channel aired on Friday, April 3, Barzani said that the death of Mustafa Barzani, his father and the legendary Kurdish leader, in 1979 was a major loss, but it did not put an end to the Kurdish struggle for freedom.

During the interview, Barzani discussed some details about the famous Aylul Revolution (1961-1970) — also known as the first Iraqi Kurdish War. The Kurdish leader said the revolution was unique and unprecedented for mid-20th century due to the fact that Kurds from all four parts of Greater Kurdistan (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey) joined the uprising.

“The gravest mistake that Abdul Karim Qasim — Iraq’s prime minister between July 1958 and February 1963 — made was that he fell under the influence of some toxic people around him. There were some people around him who were real chauvinists,” Barzani said about a turning point in Baghdad’s vision towards the Kurds after Mustafa Barzani returned from exile in the former Soviet Union.

Barzani, who joined the Peshmerga forces of Kurdistan at the age of 16 to fight for his nation’s freedom, said that he was living in a tent with his family in the mountains of Barzani area, northeast of Erbil province in 1961 when they came under fierce bombardment by the Iraqi warplanes. Only seven months later, young Masoud Barzani joins his father to fight alongside the Peshmerga.

The Kurdish leader, who plays a key role in the Kurdish politics up to the moment, pointed out during the interview that then governments of Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria were all united to suppress the Aylul Revolution.

“We were all surrounded. But thanks God, we emerged victorious.”

Concerning the position of Arab states towards the Kurdish cause during 1960s and 1970s, Barzani said some Arab countries applauded the Iraqi government, but there were others who had an understanding for the Kurdish struggle.

Saudi Arabia for instance, Barzani said, it never stood against the Kurds.

On his personal life, asked if he prefers the simplicity of living as a Peshmerga in the mountains or the life in palaces, Barzani said with confidence that he always prefers mountains to the cities. Source