ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Peshmerga called for more military support for Peshmerga forces.
Brigadier General Halgurd Hikmat, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Peshmerga, stated he proposed increasing US military support for Peshmerga forces as part of the anti-Islamic State (IS) Global Coalition's plan to improve and reorganize the ministry and the Kurdish armies.
“In a meeting with the US military officials, we officially asked them to support the Coalition and the Ministry of Peshmerga's joint plan to form a more institutionalized Peshmerga Ministry, and upgrade as well as unify the Peshmerga forces,” Hikmat told Kurdistan24 in Washington.
The Ministry of Peshmerga and the Coalition prepared a comprehensive 35-point reform plan which was sent to the Kurdistan Region Presidency for approval, he added.
Brigadier General Hazhar Omer, the Director of Coordination and Relations for the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, previously told Kurdistan24 that the Kurdistan Region needed a "stronger national army" for the post-IS era, notably as the Region heads towards referendum and independence.
"The anti-IS Global Coalition has expressed willingness to support our efforts," the Peshmerga official said, saying the coalition would also fund future Peshmerga projects.
Peshmerga forces were the first line of defense against IS when it emerged in northern Iraq in 2014. Over 1,700 Peshmerga have fallen so far, and more than 10,000 have been injured in the fight against the jihadist group.
Editing by G.H. Renaud
(Reporting by Kawa Hassan from Washington)