ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Sixty-five Kurdish Zeravani military policemen have graduated from a six week training program run by the Italian military to hone their skills for repelling attacks, controlling protests, and protecting diplomatic missions.
“We continue to receive training and equip Peshmerga forces with knowledge and skills so they can become more active in protecting apparatus and the Kurdistan Region as a whole,” Brig. Gen. Dedawan Khurshid, head of the cultural and media department of the Zervanai Command, told Rudaw.
More than 30 foreign nations have missions in the Kurdistan Region capital, including the United States, France, and Germany.
Zeravani, a militarized police force under the KRG interior ministry, is commonly called Zeravani Peshmerga.
Italy’s own military police – the Carabinieri – provided training for Zervani Peshmerga working for consulates and Brigade 1 of the Protection of the Oil Facilities of the Kurdistan Region for six weeks.
Khurshid said the trainees took four courses, including crowd control, protecting VIPs, raid and search, and establishing checkpoints.
“The Peshmerga were trained very well,” he said. “Since there is no certainty that ISIS is gone, the coalition partners have pledged to maintain their assistance to the Peshmerga.”
The armed forces of the Kurdistan Region have received training from seven western allies including Italy, Germany, France, Canada, Holland, Czech Republic, and the US.
With the help of the British government, the Peshmerga Ministry is currently undergoing a root and branch reform program, with a particular focus on modernizing its command structure.
Some Peshmerga units are currently controlled by political parties. The reforms will eventually see all units brought under the ministry’s command.