ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A British author says his new book detailing the history and sacrifices made by the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces is the first of its kind.
Simon Ross Valentine, an author and freelance journalist, published his fifth major book in April 2018 called “Peshmerga: Those Who Face Death.”
The author says although countless books have been published in the past which offer detailed accounts of the historical background of Kurdistan, very few have been on Peshmerga itself.
“My book is an attempt to fill that gap,” he said in an emailed statement to Kurdistan 24.
“The book is not a history of the Kurdish people. Instead, it is an account—the first account ever written—of the Kurdish fighting spirit.”
During his three-year stay in Kurdistan, between 2015 to 2018, Valentine said he spent much of his time with Peshmerga on the front line observing the war against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS).
The Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces arguably came to prominence following their military successes against IS.
When the extremist group emerged in Iraq in mid-2014 in the face of a collapse of the Iraqi army, it was the Kurdish forces who defended large swaths of territory, preventing IS from expanding its control of the region.
The Peshmerga have since become a key ally of the United States and its global coalition against IS, and have been commended and applauded in the past for their bravery and sacrifices on behalf of the world.
“I lived for three years in Kurdistan and Iraq gathering information for this book. Drawing on direct contact with Peshmerga (I interviewed hundreds of Kurdish soldiers from infantrymen to Generals); living with Peshmerga on the front line, and knowing many of the leading military commanders and Kurdish politicians,” Valentine explained.
An entire chapter in the book is dedicated to the women Peshmerga forces “and the significant contribution made by female fighters to the development of Kurdish military capability,” the author noted.
Valentine says his book allowed Peshmerga an opportunity to “speak for themselves and tell their own unique and exciting story.”
The British author also plans to give a lecture on Kurdistan and the Peshmerga at Westminster in the United Kingdom on July 16.
The book is available for purchase on Amazon in Kindle or paperback format.