Ministry for Peshmerga claims Iraq owes us IQD 13 trillion
The Kurdistan Regional Government’s Ministry for Peshmerga has announced that the Kurdish Peshmerga now account for just 2% of the Iraqi Army and other security forces, and that Baghdad still owes them billions of dollars.
The Secretary of the Peshmerga Ministry says his ministry is establishing 22 Peshmerga brigades, 13 of which are already complete. In total, the 22 brigades will contain 160,000 Peshmerga. The KRG is planning to establish a unified Peshmerga force and finally banish the memory of the civil war of the 1990s, when Peshmerga forces became affiliated to political parties.
The process of unifying the forces started in 2010. However, according to Jabbar Yawar, Minister for Peshmerga, it will take longer than planned.
In an interview with a Turkish news agency, Yawar blamed the delay on financial and logistical issues and referred to Baghdad’s refusal to include his ministry’s expenses in the Iraqi defense budget since 2007. As a result, roughly IQD 13 trillion (more than US$ 10 billion) has accumulated in debt.
“Peshmerga forces have been part of the Iraqi defense system since 2004, but have still to receive any funds in the defense budget.”