Kirkuk Governor Najmaldin Karim. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The German media outlet DW reported on Friday that rifles and pistols provided to the Kurdish forces by the German government have been sold by the Peshmerga in the open market.
The article claims that G-3 rifles have been openly sold in gun markets in Erbil and Sulaimani.
It also quotes Kirkuk Governor Najmaldin Karim, as confirming the claim of Peshmerga selling their weapons due to economic hardship and unpaid salaries.
Speaking to Rudaw English however, the governor "categorically rejected" the DW report as false, saying that he never said anything to any reporter to the effect of Peshmerga selling their weapons.
He added that anytime asked about arms shipments he has invariably insisted that the Peshmerga needed more weapons in order to cope with the threat posed by the Islamic State (ISIS).
The investigation was conducted by two German broadcasters NDR and WDR who visited Kurdish gun markets and found German rifles on display. The report does not quote any Peshmerga or gun dealer saying they were selling new German weapons.
Germany has provided the Peshmerga with thousands of G-3 and G-36 rifles since August 2014 after the region was attacked by ISIS.