• Monday, 24 June 2024

Kurdistan Region and US-Led Coalition Discuss Peshmerga Unification

Gulan Media April 30, 2024 News
Kurdistan Region and US-Led Coalition Discuss Peshmerga Unification

In a recent development aimed at consolidating the Kurdistan Region's Peshmerga forces, officials from the region met with representatives of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State in Erbil on Tuesday. The meeting, as reported by the Kurdistan Region presidency, focused on the ongoing efforts to unify and reform the Peshmerga forces.

The discussions at the meeting centered around reviewing the progress made in the reform process within the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and specifically addressed the challenges faced in the reorganization and unification of the Peshmerga forces. Views were exchanged on the current status of the unification process and strategies to overcome existing hurdles.

According to a statement from the presidency, the coalition emphasized the critical importance of continuing and succeeding in the unification process, offering comprehensive support and assistance to the Kurdistan Region in this endeavor. Kurdish officials reiterated their commitment to advancing the unification process and expressed determination to address the ongoing issues.

The internal discord within the Peshmerga ministry, largely between factions associated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), has complicated efforts to streamline the ministry and bring all Peshmerga units under its oversight. The coalition's efforts have been focused on transferring personnel from politically-affiliated forces to the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, forming Regional Guard Brigades (RGB) as part of this consolidation.

The return of Peshmerga Minister Shoresh Ismail in November, after a year-long absence due to regional instability, is seen as a positive development likely to accelerate the reform process. Ismail had previously resigned in late 2022 due to political interference but resumed his duties to advocate for increased cooperation among the ruling parties to facilitate reform.

International partners, particularly the US, have cautioned Kurdish authorities that continued support and funding for the Peshmerga forces are contingent upon successful unification and integration of all Peshmerga units under the ministry's oversight. The Peshmerga, comprising over 100,000 troops, is predominantly composed of Unit 70 affiliated with PUK and Unit 80 associated with KDP.

The meeting underscores ongoing efforts to strengthen the Kurdistan Region's security apparatus and enhance coordination with international allies in the fight against terrorism. The success of the Peshmerga unification process remains pivotal for ensuring stability and security in the region amidst ongoing challenges.