A German military trainer instructs a Kurdish Peshmerga soldier during training in Kurdistan Region. File photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdistan’s Council of Ministers has agreed to the joint Peshmerga and US proposed plan that seeks to unify and reorganize the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the next ten years, a government official told Rudaw Sunday afternoon.
Nuri Othman, from the Council’s coordination department said that the government will next present the proposed plan to President Masoud Barzani.
Barzani is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and therefore his approval is needed in order to authorize the changes that will restructure the Peshmerga ministry.
A joint defense team from the United States, United Kingdom and Germany presented a draft plan to Kurdish officials including Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani last week to help build a ‘robust and professional’ Peshmerga force capable of defending the Kurdistan Region.
The proposed plan that includes 35 points, recommended both by the military advisors from the three countries, and the Peshmerga ministry, will take a period of 5 to 10 years, Chief of Staff of Peshmerga Ministry Jabar Yawar said last Sunday.
The 35-point plan will be executed directly after the president approves it, Brigadier General Hazhar Ismael, head of the Peshmerga Ministry’s Coordination and Foreign Relations Office told Rudaw last Sunday
"Committees will be formed to review the ministry’s list of employees, unifying the forces, especially the 70 and 80 units,” Ismael said, making reference respectively to Peshmerga forces under the command of the ruling Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), adding that the Peshmerga salaries and rights will also be reviewed.
The Peshmerga and interior ministries as well as the Region’s Security Council will also “design Kurdistan Region's’ Security Plan” as part of the plan, Ismael revealed.
The US leads the anti-ISIS global coalition which also includes the UK and Germany, all of whom have provided material and military support to Erbil.
“The Americans, German and British have promised us that not only do they make recommendations for change, they will also stay with us and help us implement every point of the plan,” Yawar revealed.
“They don’t mean something temporary, it is long term and strategic.” Yawar said of the coalition project.