Peshmerga commander Brig. Sherko Shwani was killed in an ISIS assault on Kirkuk last Friday.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – According to the latest official casualty figures, 999 Peshmerga soldiers have been killed since the Islamic State (ISIS) began a massive offensive in Iraq last June.
Jabar Yawar, spokesman at the Peshmerga Ministry, said another 4,596 Peshmerga troops have been wounded in the war and under treatment inside the country or abroad.
Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, Yawar said the ministry “will do what it can” to assist families of the dead or wounded Peshmerga, and praised the high morale of Kurdish forces.
“Our brave Peshmerga forces have shown respect for human rights and dignity, even in the battlefields, and respected international conventions of warfare,” Yawar said in response to a question about online images of dead ISIS fighters being dragged through the streets of Kirkuk.
“These incidents are in no way representative of the Peshmerga ethics and we will thoroughly investigate any military misconduct and punish the violators,” Yawar said.
He also said media reports from the Kurdish frontlines have provided ISIS with much information and harmed Kurdish military campaigns. He asked the media to be “wise” in their reporting.
In an interview published Tuesday, Kurdish President Massoud Barzani revealed that around 3,000 ISIS militants have so far been killed inside Kurdish territories that have been recaptured from the radical group.
Last month, after Kurdish leaders were denied an invitaton to an anti-ISIS conference in London by the international coalition involved in fighting the militants, Barzani lamented that Kurdish sacrifices were not adequately recognized by the world.
”It is unfortunate that the people of Kurdistan make the sacrifice and the credit goes to others,” he said about Kurdistan’s absence at the meeting.