A helicopter maneuvers near Kirkuk Province on Dec. 26, 2009. Photo: Tyrone C. Marshall Jr. | US Army
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - The Chief of Staff of the Peshmerga Ministry has said that a main point of the Peshmerga project with the oversight of US, UK and Germany is a provision for obtaining helicopters to be used to transfer wounded soldiers and attend to the logistical needs of the Kurdish forces.
Peshmerga Chief of Staff Jabar Yawar told Rudaw that one of the main points of the project is the creation of an air wing for the Ministry to transfer Peshmerga forces, the wounded and to send logistical support — within this purpose "we need helicopters."
Yawar said reinforcing the Ministry is crucial as the Kurdistan Region is moving towards independence and that “if we want to have an independent state, we need to have a strong united force," according to the Turkish Anadolu Agency.
Kurdistan’s Council of Ministers agreed to the joint Peshmerga and foreign proposed plan that seeks to unify and reorganize the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the next ten years, Nuri Othman, from the Council’s coordination department told Rudaw on Sunday afternoon.
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 to implement, Yawar had 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.
Integration of all Kurdish Peshmerga forces into a central command structure has been a prerequisite for some countries’ support of professionalization.
“We have got to have a strong united force for the questions of referendum and independence in the Kurdistan Region, because our Peshmerga forces cannot be associated with political and national entities if we are meant to step towards a statehood,” Anadolu reported Yawar as saying. “Therefore, the integration of the Peshmerga forces will provide another outlook to the referendum project."
Yawar went on to reportedly explain the history of the projects which date back to 2015.
"America asked to conduct research on the Peshmerga Ministry and later suggest some points to freshly put in order Kurdistan’s Peshmerga forces,” he reportedly said. “Later, the UK and Germany asked to launch their own research, too and they ended up preparing 16 points in 2016. We also prepared 16 points as our agenda for 2017 which later was approved by the Council of Ministries and became part of the Peshmerga Ministry project.”