A former Pentagon adviser has appeared on BBC News and claimed the once feared Kurdish Peshmerga fighters now get “winded when they run to the nearest Kebab stand”.
Michael Rubin from the American Enterprise Institute was explaining why the Kurds had fared so poorly against ISIS despite having the reputation of being the “most elite unit in the region”.
Rubin was asked if America has been right to begin air strikes against ISIS: “Ultimately if we are talking about the fighting in the North with regard to the Kurds… On one hand is it positive to take some action, it’s an acknowledgement that Iraq is too big to fail but there is cognitive dissonance. For example why are we taking action in Iraq but not Syria? Why are we supporting Iraqi Peshmerga but not Kurdish Peshmerga? These are the sort of questions Barrack Obama has not answered”
He then went on to explain why the US was not helping the Syrian government fight ISIS in the country: “The way I tend to look at it is Bashar al Assad winning is like dying of cancer, the opposition winning is like dying of a heart attack. The question goes to whether the preventative medicine could have been taken three or four years ago.”
He continued: “They (ISIS) are conducting the same humanitarian outrages in Syria as they are committing in Iraq and yet we are not explaining why we are acting in one place but not another. Perhaps there’s good reasons for that but people need to hear.”
Later in the interview he claimed that military failures against ISIS in Iraq could be put down to the dissolution of the Iraqi Army by the US and the poor performance of the Peshmerga.
“The Peshmurga were always made out to be the most elite unit in the region. But these mountain fighters from thirty years ago get winded when they run to the nearest Kebab stand.”