October 11th, 2014
11:38 PM ET

What role can the Peshmerga play in fighting ISIS?

Fareed speaks with Barham Salih, former prime minister of Iraqi Kurdistan and former deputy prime minister of Iraq, about the role the Peshmerga could play in fighting ISIS. Watch the full interview on "Fareed Zakaria GPS," this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.

What about the Peshmerga? Will the Kurdish Army – this is the force that protects the Kurdish part of Iraq. Is it going to be willing to go into battle in Iraq – potentially even into Syria – to fight ISIS, since you do need an effective fighting force on the ground?

My own sense is I can say this defensively. Kurdistan has emerged as the most reliable partner to the international coalition in the fight against ISIS. There may be a number of reasons for that.

One of the issues that I'm proud of, Kurdistan represents a tolerant society, tolerant values, and we do have a real interest in taking on ISIS.

So the Kurdish Peshmergas are taking on ISIS. They are fighting ISIS across nearly 1,000 kilometers of line. But I have to say, also, the mantra is that Kurdish Peshmergas should not be relied upon to go to Mosul or should not be relied upon to go to the heartland of the Sunni areas or to Baghdad.

We can be there to support. But at the same time, the communities there need to be empowered. The same thing about Syria...

Because you would be seen as an almost foreign army if you were to go into...

I think one has to also acknowledge this reality. This is payback time. Over the last 10 years, there were lots of communities, particularly in the Sunni areas, who felt marginalized. ISIS and these extremists have taken advantage of those grievances, and this has become an incubating ground for them.

The fundamental answer is to empower these communities to take on these extremists.

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Topics: GPS Show

soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Sofia Khatoon

    Way to go kurdistan

    October 11, 2014 at 11:53 pm | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      A Kurdistan that unites the Kurds in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey may be unrealistic, as Iran and Turkey wouldn't let it happen. Iraqi Kurdistan is doing well and the Syrian Kurds had been able to govern themselves until ISIS came.

      October 15, 2014 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

    Tthe former prime minister describes a commitment by the Kurdish Peshmergas that is very strong, but not strong enough to cause their presence anywhere that they might be needed to fight ISIS.
    To me, it seems that the forces with enough commitment to fight ISIS on the ground may eventually have to come from the USA and its allies. Are these nations the ones with the most to gain from the defeat of ISIS and any other group wanting to cast its lot with the Islamic State?

    October 12, 2014 at 7:08 am | Reply
  3. Hannah

    Yes. And the U.S. must have many allies if it sends ground troops to defeat ISIS.
    OMG! A hurricane is headed into India. It is a big one at 130 mph. I hope no one gets hurt and they seek shelter. God help them.

    October 12, 2014 at 7:36 am | Reply
  4. Blue Saffron

    That's right Hannah. I will pray for the people of India. That is a baaaaad hurricane.
    God bless the Indian people.

    October 12, 2014 at 7:38 am | Reply
  5. Blue Saffron

    Like, I live in rural Oklahoma. And once I was jogging and a girl cow looked at me kinda aggressive like. It had hor ns. I knew it was a girl cow because it had long eye lashes.So then it broke through the three foot fence and chased me. Then it ja.bb ed me on my left buttt che_eck. It hurt.
    Well. To make a long story short, St. Jude Hospital charged me $12,778 just to patch me up. If Obama care were around,the cost would have been significantly lower. Try $4,678.

    October 12, 2014 at 8:33 am | Reply
    • Ajay

      So why didn't you sue the cow's owner?

      October 12, 2014 at 8:48 am | Reply
      • Blue Saffron

        I couldn't. Because the cow had a name tag with a ficti tious address.

        October 12, 2014 at 9:05 am |
  6. Hannah

    Oh dear Blue Saffron. That is sad.
    Anyway.. While in high school I was a member of the FFA and my daddy bought me a pony. So as a FFA member I raised my pony very well. It ate a lot of spaghetti. Strange I know.
    So anyway,one day it ran away. It ended up with some vet who informed us that our horse was a direct descendent of Mr. Ed. No wonder it tried to talk but we wouldn't listen.

    October 12, 2014 at 8:39 am | Reply
  7. chri$$y

    While i do not advocate war for the US to get involved in again, i do feel its rather redundant for the US to continue with air attacks if there are no ground personel to direct and to complete the mission! And as Iraq has now REQUESTED our ground military we must in good faith, provide them. We have to take our share of responsibility for this God awful mess and for the creation of ISIS! And by doing THAT it means we MUST do everything in our power to help the people of Syria also!!!!

    October 12, 2014 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      I hope that @ chrissy doesn't turn into a jaded war monger.
      Prayer, of course, is the answer. ISIS prays all of the time.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  8. Ali Aldarajy

    I am Iraqi American, I don't aGree with indepandent Kurdistan, north of Iraq its part of Iraq for every, the kurds only use the time because the Iraqi Amy its week to announce there independence, there leader he is the worst in the world we should not trust him, at all

    October 12, 2014 at 10:17 am | Reply
  9. Blue Saffron

    Hi Ali. Do Iraqies eat McDonald's hamburges? Do you really pray all day.

    October 12, 2014 at 10:19 am | Reply
    • Ali Aldarajy

      yes, they do Burger it is beef, i pray 3 time a day, it is like you pray at the Church

      October 13, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  10. Hannah

    I'm worried about Ebola. So I am going to bend over twice a day so someone can take my temperature. Then who knows. Anything can happen.

    October 12, 2014 at 10:24 am | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      Good idea, @ Hannah. Have frequent checkups in emergency rooms. There's a reason that they're called Professional health-care workers, you know.
      How far are you from Dallas? The best care is there.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Reply
      • Hannah

        @Joey. I am in Dallas, Texas off highway 35 at a hoot.ers. I am still waiting for someone to take my temperature through my rear. Hasn't happened.

        October 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
    • Rupert

      Hannah all you want is to be penetrated. I am offering you mine. It is very hard,

      October 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  11. Rupert

    Ha today I will be blue saffron.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  12. Hannah

    That is not rupert. That is a troll. Pay him no mind.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  13. Ajay

    Where is my gay boyfriend, Modi? Why does he not post anymore? His screen name is Blue Saffron.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Reply
    • Rupert

      Hello Ajay.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

    We could have kept Ebola over there, you know, but it wouldn't have been very polite.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Reply
    • rupert

      Joey, how are we today?

      October 12, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Reply
    • dazzle

      Hi Joey, I am going to take you back a bit in NY. Do you remember Longchamp? I remember my father taking me there after church.

      October 12, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  15. rupert

    Now I will troll.

    October 12, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  16. Richard Eddy

    I am a fan of your Sunday GPS telecasts because you focus more on events outside the US and generally ask penetrating questions of your guests. Thus, I was extremely disappointed with your interview with Barham Salih, the Iraqi Kurdish leader. You avoided the hard questions. What is the future of the Kurds, divided as they are in Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey? Do the artificial borders established during the British colonial period make any sense today? From the Kurdish perspective, what explains the reluctance of Turkey to help Kurds who are under attack from ISIS? Can the peshmerga really be effective when it is divided, as are Iraqi Kurds, between the Barzani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Talabani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party? The interview was a real missed opportunity.

    October 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  17. Ajay

    People from Pakistan are d.umb and st.upid.
    They do it with goats.
    Hindus are better.
    Sux to be a Pakistani.

    October 12, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  18. Ajay

    @richard eddy.. How much money do you make on weekends?
    I made $620 on friday and $580 on Saturday. Also got lucky with the new waitress.
    I am a male dancer at chip n dales.
    @sofia. I like your pic. Want a lap dance? $20 bucks.

    October 12, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  19. chri$$y

    Lol and youre living proof that the US has their share of dumb and stupid also!

    October 12, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  20. chri$$y

    Lolololol $20 huh? Not much value to you at all!

    October 12, 2014 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  21. My Picture Of Muhammad


    October 12, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  22. chri$$y

    Lol no @ Joey a humanitarian...always a humanitarian!

    October 12, 2014 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  23. rupert

    I have not posted any comments for three days. I have read a lot of childish and inappropriate posts that I find disgusting and unacceptable. As for whomever is stealing my name, you are very ignorant by the senseless authoring of your ridiculous comments. Now, that being said; the article is on target. Sunnies have been neglected and mistreated for 10 years and ISIS is using this to their advantage. I can understand their anger, but their extreme actions has voided them of any sympathy, understanding, or credibility.

    October 12, 2014 at 9:22 pm | Reply
  24. chri$$y

    Good comment @ rupert right up until you said they didnt deserve sympathy! If they dont have the resources to fight ISIS one can hardly blame them with "going with the flow" as thats the only resource they have at the moment to survive!

    October 12, 2014 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  25. chri$$y

    I dont believe if they had a choice they would choose ISIS!

    October 12, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  26. rupert

    Good point chrissy, I agree.

    October 12, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Reply
  27. rupert

    Your point, chrissy, reminds me of our U.S. kids in gang infested neighborhoods. It's either join our gang, or else.

    October 12, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  28. Rupert

    Oh yuck don't make me sound like Philip Adam.

    October 12, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  29. rupert

    Whomever you are, I am perplexed as to why you would steal my name. And if by chance you are J.R., then I find you to be most deplorable. Yes, as in the superlative case.
    Good night sir/mam!

    October 12, 2014 at 11:52 pm | Reply
  30. Rupert

    Oh be quiet Adam.

    October 13, 2014 at 12:11 am | Reply
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