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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Sources: Barzani Orders Peshmerga Forces Reformed, United

By Nawzad Mahmoud 25/8/2014
Problems ranged from shortcomings in clothing and food, but that the main issue was far more serious. Photo: AFP
Problems ranged from shortcomings in clothing and food, but that the main issue was far more serious. Photo: AFP

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani has ordered a reform of the Peshmerga forces, sources told Rudaw, following battlefield reports that the troops lack a unified command structure.

The sources said that Barzani has granted the Peshmerga minister six months to carry out the necessary reforms and place the force under a single, unified command.

The decision follows a report by parliamentary committees from the battlefield, in which MPs noted that the Peshmerga ministry did not have authority over all troops.

Bahar Abdurrahman, a member of parliament’s Peshmerga committee who worked on the report following visits to the battlefields, said that the team had made several observations.

She said problems ranged from shortcomings in clothing and food, but that the main issue was far more serious.

“We have clearly mentioned in the report that there are different sources of decision making within the Ministry of Peshmerga,” Abdurrahman said.

She added that, as a first step, the report had asked for the “establishment of a high national board to supervise the battlefields under the supervision of the president of Kurdistan and the minister of Peshmerga.”

“We have also asked for the full implementation of the project and to institutionalize the Ministry of Peshmerga,” she said.

The Peshmerga ministry had long been criticized by lawmakers and Kurdish leaders, but following the recent IS attacks on the Kurdistan Region, and Peshmerga troops rushing to the fronts to defend the territory, the force garnered support and appreciation, both locally and internationally.

But the rapid advances and seizure of Yezidi towns and villages by the jihadist militants earlier this month came as a shocking blow to the Peshmarga, besmirching their reputation as fearless warriors.

“Members of parliament and party officials have become battlefield commanders and high ranking military officers are under their command,” complained one Peshmerga source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A leadership member of the Islamic Union of Kurdistan (Yekgirtu) said that a project has been underway to reform the Peshmerga forces, even before the recent reports of battlefield problems.

He said that, “according to the project, the ministry of Peshmerga and the president of Kurdistan, as the commander in chief, will make decisions and the Peshmerga forces will be under the umbrella of the government.”

Anwari Haji Osman, the deputy Peshmerga minister, urged all political parties to facilitate the institutionalization of Peshmerga forces.

The establishment of joint national brigades in the shortest possible time is a must. The president of Kurdistan Region is in rush to see the implementation of the project.”    

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Paul Restall | 25/8/2014
Good news, sounds like they are going to be more organised and not related to any party.
Vahel M | 25/8/2014
In my opinion all peshmarga Must be under one command (peshmarga ministry for example)far from any inflowance from any political parties in Kurdistan, united army fight for Kurdistan only ,
Peter Jones | 25/8/2014
Good, this is a first step towards an independent Kurdistan. Bijî serok Barzani!
CenTexman | 25/8/2014
What you should do is restructure the Peshmerga with the troops from Rojava and make a united Kurdish army but also have a Kurish national guard for each area. Kobane area and one for Irbil. I have no idea if the PKK will get taken off the international terrorist list anytime soon but this will arms will be able to get Rojava. Declare Independence as a united Kurdish nation and immediately ask to be recognize by the U.N. I also know it's a long shot but also ask entry into the European Union. I know the territory isn't in Europe but neither is Turkey. You should build a new oil port city on the Mediterranean that all Kurds will be proud of. A new commercial hub to the world that will attract investors and visitors. Why can't the Kurds have a city like Dubai? All of the things I mentioned will only happen if the leaders of Southern Kurdistan and the Kurds of Rojava came come together for the benefit of all Kurds. Make your leaders come together if you have to. Divided the Kurdish people are weakened but together you can become very powerful. Great luck to the Kurdish people! Biji a unified and Independant Kuristan
KIM | 25/8/2014
Heading toward statehood.
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