9 years ago: CTG and PUK Peshmerga Protected Erbil and Liberated Makhmur

Kurdistan 03:39 PM - 2023-08-10
Makhmur District PUKMEDIA

Makhmur District


Nine years ago, the Peshmerga and the forces of the Counter-Terrorism Group (CTG) of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) successfully liberated Makhmur from the control of Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists. This military operation not only ensured the protection of the capital city of the Kurdistan Region, Erbil, from occupation but also facilitated the return of individuals who had previously fled Erbil due to apprehensions surrounding ISIS.

"We informed Massoud Barzani that day that the CTG forces had arrived in Erbil and that we would not permit ISIS to seize Erbil," a senior PUK member recalled. 

In a statement, CTG stated: "We were able to defend Erbil and retake Makhmur in less than an hour after everyone stopped fighting and various regions were turned over to ISIS."

The CTG forces have played a pivotal role in safeguarding the capital of Kurdistan, Erbil, from ISIS with the Peshmerga forces of the PUK. In a commemorative statement acknowledging the anniversary of its courageous and monumental actions, CTG states on its official page: "Nine years ago, today, the CTG forces achieved a remarkable accomplishment. During this event, numerous defenseless areas were relinquished to the terrorist organization ISIS, resulting in a situation where only a few kilometers separated ISIS from Erbil. However, the CTG forces successfully safeguarded the city and swiftly regained control within less than an hour."

"CTG considers itself responsible for protecting Kurdistan's territories, and the sacrifices made by CTG forces in different parts of Kurdistan testify to this fact," the statement added.


Makhmur's liberation by CTG boosted citizens' encouragement

Mala Bakhtiar, a prominent figure inside the PUK, said that CTG played a significant role in the liberation of Makhmur and the defense of Erbil against ISIS terrorists. He observed the valiant efforts of the CTG forces during the heroic struggle in Makhmur.

Mala Bakhtiar, a member of the Supreme Political and Interest Council of the PUK, has previously spoken about the liberation of Makhmur and the protection of Erbil from terrorists, saying: "Upon receiving news from Mr. Kosrat Rasul of the dangerous circumstances in Erbil, we promptly spoke with our CTG comrades. They were ready to come, and we set out."

"I vividly recall a certain instance during which we went to Erbil and passed Pirde, where a multitude of automobiles and families were seen in the process of evacuating Erbil. When they saw the CTG forces raising the Kurdistan and PUK flags with such enthusiasm, I heard that people's courage rose, and half of those who fled returned," he added.


Mala Bakhtiar: I told Barzani CTG will not let Erbil be occupied

In response to the threat of ISIS occupying Erbil, he claimed that after arriving in Erbil, they met with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Political Bureau and gave Massoud Barzani the following assurance: "I told Mr. Massoud that the CTG forces have come to Erbil, and we will not allow ISIS to occupy Erbil. We have enough CTG forces to defeat them, so we must move to take on Makhmur."

Regarding the liberation of Makhmur and the arrival of the CTG forces in Makhmur, Mala Bakhtiar stated: "Upon our arrival in Makhmur, the CTG fighters valiantly engaged in combat. Without a doubt, the CTG forces and the Peshmerga displayed unparalleled bravery in their conflict with ISIS in Makhmur. Upon the successful capture of the silo in Makhmur by CTG, the victory drum was beaten."

According to a video recording, KDP forces escaped Makhmur and posed a significant threat to the locals of Makhmur and Erbil. People were escaping their homes out of fear for their lives.


Sirwan Barzani and his forces abandoned their weapons without fighting

Since the forces in charge of the Makhmur front were weak, it was expected that ISIS would take over the district. However, the CTG forces reached Makhmur as the first force, fought ISIS straight away, rid the area of the terrorists, and defended Erbil from harm.

Rashad Galali, Deputy of the PUK's Qarachogh Organization's 20th Headquarters, who was in charge of the Makhmur Organization Committee at the time, told PUKMEDIA: "ISIS's occupation of Makhmur was an expected surrender without a shot being fired because the KDP was the only political party in charge of the Makhmur front." The 80th KDP unit was in charge of the area, but it was unable to adequately protect the locals who lived close to the border. Sirwan Barzani and his forces abandoned their weapons and fled to Erbil ahead of the civilians rather than engage in self-defense.

" The occupation of Makhmur posed a threat to Erbil, so the President of the Kurdistan Region at the time, Massoud Barzani, had two options: either he had to request assistance from the CTG forces or evacuate Erbil. Therefore, he urged the PUK to send CTG forces to Makhmur to clear the region of ISIS terrorists and protect Erbil from this threat. "At that point, the CTG forces entered Makhmur as the first force and confronted ISIS," he added.

Previously, the KDP forces withdrew from several locations due to fears regarding ISIS terrorists, resulting in the capture of Sinjar (Shingal) by the terrorists. Consequently, the Yazidi minority experienced targeted acts of violence and mass killings at the hands of these terrorists.

According to unofficial sources, the terrorists murdered about 3,200 Yazidi Kurds in Sinjar and abducted about 7,000 Yazidis, the majority of whom were women, girls, and young children. Some of them are still missing and have not returned to their families.


see more

Most read

The News in your pocket


Logo Application

Play Store App Store Logo
The News In Your Pocket