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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Gen. Votel reiterates US support for Peshmerga

By Rudaw 14/2/2018
KRG leaders welcome a US military delegation led by CENTCOM Commander Gen. Joseph Votel. Photo: KRG
KRG leaders welcome a US military delegation led by CENTCOM Commander Gen. Joseph Votel. Photo: KRG
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A top US general confirmed his country’s continued military aid for the Peshmerga during a meeting with KRG leaders in Erbil on Wednesday. 

KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani received Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM), on Wednesday evening, according to a statement from the KRG. 
 
“The Iraq and Kurdistan Region military and security situation and post-ISIS phase were discussed,” the statement read, with Barzani thanking the US delegation for its continued military support for the Peshmerga. 

Both sides agreed that ISIS cannot be defeated only military, but also there should be a plan to eradicate terror ideology.

They also touched on the latest developments from ongoing technical-level talks between Erbil and Baghdad and recent meetings with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Votel reiterated America’s ongoing military aid for the Peshmerga, according to the KRG statement.

The US Department of Defense recently published its budget request for 2019 in which it asked for $850 million for training and equipping Iraqi Security Forces.  

"Those publicly released documents do not specifically refer to training/stipends for the Peshmerga,” Eric Pahon, Pentagon spokesperson, for Rudaw. “The final details of the budget will be available only once the budget has gone through the full appropriations process, which could be several weeks."

In 2017, the US provided the KRG with $415 million to cover Peshmerga salaries during the height of the war against ISIS in Mosul. For 2018, it has included $365 million for the Peshmerga in its draft defense budget bill. 

The US is also among the partner nations that are helping the Peshmerga to unify and professionalize the force.

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