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Updated: German defence minister meets with Peshmerga in Erbil

By Rudaw 11/2/2018
German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen arrived in Erbil on Sunday morning. Photo: Rudaw TV
German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen arrived in Erbil on Sunday morning. Photo: Rudaw TV
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The German defence minister arrived in Erbil on Sunday morning following a visit to Baghdad.

Ursula von der Leyen is inaugurating the first phase of a planned private Peshmerga hospital. Germany has allocated €6 million for the project, Rudaw’s Sangar Abdulrahman reported.

The hospital is expected to be opened next year.

Speaking to reporters, von der Leyen said she was in Erbil to visit Peshmerga forces and German soldiers.

She commended Peshmerga and the Iraqi army in their campaigns to defeat ISIS in Iraq.

“We all know that the Peshmerga on our behalf and that of the world, fought very well against ISIS,” she said.

On Germany’s training of the Peshmerga, she said “We spent an intense three and half years together,” adding that the Kurdish force has “developed well” as they have “the willing and desire to learn.”

She believed however, “the end of ISIS war does not mean full restoration of stability.”

The military defeat of ISIS is a “transitional” stage, she said. “We want to impose this triumph and spread it throughout Iraq.”

She stressed that Berlin wants to continue to work with Iraq in bringing about sustained stability in the country.

“We would like to have a long-term partnership with Iraq,” she concluded.

She also attended a joint German-Peshmerga first aid training session.

This marks her fifth visit to the Kurdistan Region.

She recently met with KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and a KRG delegation on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in late January.

They touched on continuing to improve Baghdad-Erbil relations.


Up to 150 German soldiers are  based at the international anti-ISIS Combined Joint Operations Command Center in Erbil, where they have worked with Iraqi and Kurdish commanders, in addition to Peshmerga units through the Kurdistan Training Coordination Center (KTTC).

Last updated at 12:05 pm



End this failed training | 11/2/2018
Its one of the worst training that the int. coalition gives to Peshmerga. Security personel in the west for clubs get better training. Peshmerga can not even train its own soldires they are fully in the hand of other countries making with them what they wish a regional weak security group that can clean mines not more. Pesh dont learn moral or to be ready to die in fight how could a trainer not even speaking their language learn them the love for their country. KRG and Peshmerga divided corrupt and failed not even able to train their security.
dilan | 11/2/2018
a politician with detail knoweledge on the ground acts this way. some other politicians talk alot but hardly walk the talk....just quack quack quack
Riha | 11/2/2018
Why not get training from the best and strongest army in the world, Russia? Why training from those Western chickens?
Azad | 12/2/2018
Quick comparison, YPG/YPJ with small guns without international trainers are holding a line against 2nd largest NATO army. Our trained Peshmerga couldn’t hold Iraqi army for 24hours (I am proud of Peshmerga my father was Peshmerga martyr “Shaheed”). Iraq didn’t use air power, while Turkey is using all they got with 10,000 FSA jash. Everything comes from top down, from sacrifice to dedication and selflessness. The best training is when the leaders and their sons fight side by side with Peshmerga.

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