Peshmerge Crucial in the Middle East
A Peshmerge delegate to Brussels recently held meetings with NATO, the EU, and some other European officials. NATO prepared a new decision regarding providing support, training, and heavy weaponry directly to the Peshmerge. The Peshmerge have arisen as a major force in the Middle East.
In his meeting with Kurdistan Region President Mr. Masoud Barzani last week, Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of US Central Command, expressed that the US is grateful for the sacrifices the Peshmerge have made in the fight against terrorism. Specifically referring to the hostage rescue operation in Hawija, he pointed out that the collaboration between US and Peshmerge special forces is an indicator of the high level of trust between both forces.
The German Minister of Defense Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen also commented on her nation’s increase of trust because of the Peshmerge. She said: “Working with Peshmerge has enhanced the mutual trust and friendship [between] Germany and Kurdistan Region. We are to be more determined on coordination and common work”.
In addition, US media outlets have also highlighted the joint coordination between the Peshmerge and US forces. The Hawija operation is now mentioned as a shining example and proud step forward for the military coordination between Peshmerge and US forces.
Contrary to the well equipped Iraqi army, the Peshmerga are fighting terror hand in hand with trust and confidence—liberating territories of Kurdistan in Article 140 areas and save hostages in joint military operation like last weeks. Meanwhile the Peshmerge’s budget hasn’t been provided by Baghdad for many years, while they remain a legal part of the Iraqi defense system. On the other side of the coin, the Iraqi army, who far too often reflect sectarian realities in Baghdad have handed thousands of weapons, tanks and ammunition, along with thousands kilometers of territories to ISIS terrorists in Ninevah, Salahadin and Anbar provinces. Yet the Iraqi government continues to provide salaries to the Shiite Hashd Al-Shaabi, which will be a catastrophic force for Iraq in future and for now.
Some key factors contributing to Peshmerge battlefield successes:
- President Bargain moved his office to the front lines in Shingal. Other key leaders are also carrying out their tasks from the front lines.
- Solid coordination, understanding and unity between President Barzani as the Commander of Armed Forces, the leaders of Peshmerge, and members of Peshmerge.
- The Peshmerge have a stalwart cause for which it fights. They defend the future of the people in Kurdistan— its coexistence and freedom. They stand against ethnic, religious and sectarian discrimination, representing religious and ethnic coexistence, stability and security wherever they go.
- The Peshmerge have a century-long history of struggle against oppressive forces in Iraq and has abundant experience in mountain and urban warfare.
The Peshmerge are a crucial force that deserves to be supported even moreso by the US and Europe. The Peshmerga, who protect millions of war-displaced people, are ready to turn into a unified, modern army that maintains freedom and coexistence in Kurdistan, which (eventually) helps maintain the security and stability of Europe and US as well.
Germany continues assistance to Kurdistan Region
Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani last week received Germany’s Defense, Minister Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen, and her accompanying military and political delegation.
In the meeting, attended also by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, Ms Leyen said the Peshmerga forces’ capability has improved since her last visit. She said the progress and discipline Peshmerga forces have demonstrated in the training courses are satisfactory and have been effectively applied to defeat the myth of ISIS.
Ms Leyen expressed the readiness of Germany to extend its assistance to the Kurdistan Region in other fields, particularly with assistance to the refugees and internally displaced people, who have fled terrorism and sought refuge in the Region.
She said the Kurdistan Region’s internal issues are best resolved through dialogue and negotiations, but the priority now remains eradicating the terrorist threat.
Prime Minister Barzani welcomed Ms Leyen’s visit, noting that Germany has been assisting Kurdistan Region since the very beginning of the ISIS threat. He highlighted the training of Peshmerga forces and praised the level of cooperation with Germany’s military forces.
Regarding the Kurdistan Region’s internal issues, Prime Minister Barzani emphasized they had no effect on the morale of the Peshmerga forces on the frontline.
He said that Kurdistan Region welcomes all humanitarian assistance as it provides security and other basic assistance to an extraordinary number of refuge seekers while facing severe financial constraints.
The situation in neighboring countries and recent developments in the Middle East were also discussed.