Sirwan Saber Mustafa Barzani was born on March 11,1970. A prominent businessman and the relative of the Kurdish President, He is Massoud Barzani’s nephew; President of Kurdistan, his father is martyr in the Barazanian Anfal 8 March in 1983 by the Baathist regime in Iraq.
Presidential Member in Kurdistan Democratic Party and currently he is the commander of the Peshmerga forces in Gower and Makhmoor. In an exclusive interview with our magazine Barzani discusses the threats from ISIS and the need for more military reinforcement to protect the region.
How is the current situation in Kurdistan?
There are more than two million people displaced in Kurdistan and with the absence of a budget and the economic crisis there is a true humanity crisis. We are fighting for democracy; we are fighting for humanity in hopes to support as many people as possible and provide them with security which is our main priority.
How did you return to the Peshmerga?
I have been Peshmerga for many years from leader of Barzan time to late of 2000 then withdrew temporarily to serve in the private sector.
I was called and informed last year that there is a dangerous situation in some of the Kurdish areas, Mosul, Makhmoor and Shengal, so I returned immediately and we began setting up military operations in order to defend these areas. so we worked in military operations room for three nights and four days for this matter, on (6-8-2014), President Barzani and the Ministry of Peshmerga ordered me and 150 Peshmerga to defend those areas.
Kurdistan borders divided into 8 sections. We are in the sixth section; width of 130 km, in geographical boundaries of Gower and Makhmoor.
Did you know in advance that you will fight terrorism?
Terrorists were planning and devising strategies to occupy our land, the land of the Kurds they planned everything in Syria and unfortunately Peshmerga was not well prepared; we don’t have sufficient weapons to defend ourselves against ISIS . Intimidating people through the use of social media has also been a threat to us that we deal with on a daily basis.
As I mentioned we are not well equipped compared to the ISIS weapons which are originally Iraqi weapons that Iraq bought from Russia and America. America itself spent on the Iraqi army more than $ 30 billion for weapons and training however ISIS has been able to seize these weapons and use them against us.
Shiek sirwan Barazni, What is the importance of those areas? Why does ISIS want to occupy them?
For us it is the land of the Kurds, the Kurdish people lives there and must defend it, for them I think their goal is to occupy our land and destroy what we have achieved in general.
How are you benefiting from international aid?
We are fighting for democracy; we are fighting for humanity instead of the entire world, there are more than two million displaced people in Kurdistan in the conditions of absence of a budget and economic crisis, all the world acknowledges that. International aid is not enough and not the extent that satisfies us, 50% of the war is in our land, we rely on fighter planes of the allies but believe me new weapon has not reached to our army so far!! We have only two of anti-tank called Milan and one of them does not have night vision.
How do you confront attempts of suicide operations and land mines?
We have invalidated 14 suicide cars car that came to our section with Milan weapon however there is a constant threat. Most of our martyrs were killed by landmines even though we have removed more than 5,000 mines so far.
If you got damaged by their attacks, what could the reason be?
The more of our martyrs were martyred by planted mine, although we have invalidated approximately 5,000 mines so far.
Is it true that you stopped one of ISIS attacks into Gower?
Hostility against us began with these charges from the first days of the war, my fault is that I did not leave the fighting during the 7 months only for 8 days and so for meetings and other things related to the war in the road of Dohuk and Erbil.
You called your command (Black Tiger), Is it a formal military force and belonging to the Ministry of Peshmerga?
Yes, it is formal, Military instructions require to name the military units, my name in Peshmerga was (Black Tiger) so I chose this name for my military unit.
What are your projects in the field of investment and services?
The first project was korek telecom for communications and we try to spend its occurring benefits inside Kurdistan in another sector, project of Recycling of iron, factory of Ice King and family mall that is the biggest mall in Iraq, then we finished tourism project of (korek teleferic) that has spent (40) million dollars and the hotel remained and some other parts from this project; we’ve spent the amount of (120)thousand dollars for cleaning the area from mines that were planted by the former Baathist regime.