Excerpts statement by Sheik Ali Hatam, emir of Iraq's al-Duleim tribe, broadcasted by Al-Arabiya TV on August 7:
At a time when all had their eyes on Baghdad to be freed from Maliki’s government and while all were awaiting the emancipation of Sunnis in Baghdad, Diyala, Basra, north of Babel, and in the other provinces from massacre and forced migration by sectarian militias, a group called ISIS, in its fight with Maliki’s army and the sectarian militias, has turned around and is now pointing its guns at the Kurdistan Province which has become the sanctuary and safe haven for immigrants from revolutionary provinces. We have been unable to find any explanation for this.
In the same fashion, military operation by ISIS against the Kurdistan Province ultimately benefits Maliki’s government in its attempt to secure a third term at the price of the blood of innocent Iraqis and their Kurdish brothers. The Kurds are the only people who have been steadfast in their positions and we have made a covenant with them to stand up against Maliki’s hopeless efforts to reach a third term.
It has been proven that they are the Iranian regime and its puppets who are plotting to foment unrest and tumult in the [Kurdistan] province and who press province’s leaders to alter their stances vis-à-vis Maliki. Thus these are Iran and its agents who are attempting to disrupt security in the Kurdistan Province.
As such, we want to state here: We shall not just condemn this blatant enmity with the Kurdish Region, but we say to all those whose egos have deceived them to become the enemy of the province that the Kurdistan Province is a red line and we shall not allow any party with any formation or attribute to attack the Kurdistan Province or aggress against its territory. We are in the same trench with our Kurdish brothers and consistent with our noble ideal, we shall support them in their confrontation by all means.
Similarly, we call on our Kurdish brothers, whether the Kurdish government or its people, that it is necessary for you to pay heed to the condition of your brothers who have been forced to migrate to escape the atrocities of bombings, slaughter and forced migration by Maliki’s army and his sectarian militias and have sought refuge with you to control yourselves. Such a noble position is not astonishing or unexpected from you. You were the only ones who opened your hearts, before your doors, to them.
In the end, we call on the international community to stand with the Sunni Arabs and the Kurdish brothers. It is essential for the Kurdish Regional Government to get armed to confront the terrorist ISIS and the sectarian militias. And finally, addressing these [ISIS] or anyone else who has been deceived by his ego, we say that we shall not allow any side to steal our revolution, divert it from its path, change its destiny, or turn it into a sectarian or ethnic revolution since our sole objective is to change this government and to attain our rights that have been violated.