ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (K24) – Dindar Zebari, Deputy Head of Kurdistan’s Department of Foreign Relations (DFR) for International Organizations, told K24 on Tuesday that the Peshmerga unification process is ongoing and that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) policy regarding unification is in line with request from the US and other Western allies, he added.
In an exclusive interview with K24, Zebari said the process of Peshmerga unification is still progressing. He added, “This process is ordered by the President, Masud Barzani, and we are working on it.” He pointed out that there are several hurdles to overcome such as the “financial crisis, the security situation, and the war against Islamic State are our major challenges.”
Zebari continued, “In the past, there was not a solid political will from Baghdad for the unification of Peshmerga which halted this process.” According to Zebari, the process toward unification has taken several positive steps and that in the foreseeable future, all Peshmerga forces will be unified.
Zebari emphasized that the KRG policy toward unifying Peshmerga must be modernized and standardized. “We believe the unification process must include modern training and weaponry supply for Peshmerga. This process must be accomplished with international cooperation.”
Unification of Peshmerga forces will ultimately bring all Peshmerga forces currently administered by different political parties under the sole administration of the Ministry of Peshmerga. While Peshmerga are under the command of the President of the Kurdistan Region, a large number are under the administration of either of the two major political parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).