ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – UK Prime Minister’s Special Envoy Lieutenant General Tom Beckett visited Kurdistan Region on Tuesday to examine military campaigns against the Islamic State (IS) with Kurdish officials.
In a meeting with the Kurdistan Region Security Council's (KRSC) Chancellor Masrour Barzani, Beckett discussed long-term support for Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Region, according to the KRSC media office.
Barzani praised the UK’s commitment to train and support Peshmerga forces even after the defeat of the jihadist group in northern Iraq.
The Chancellor emphasized the significance of “integrating and arming the Region's armed forces in line with enduring threats from terrorism and developing a regional security strategy.”
The British Ambassador to Iraq Frank Baker and Acting Consul General in Erbil Jon Sharp were also present at the meeting.
Beckett held the high-level dialogue with Kurdish officials in collaboration with the US and Germany, proposing structural and administrative reforms to the Peshmerga Ministry in particular, and security services in general.
“The Peshmerga has become a powerful brand in the international community. It is the embodiment of the Kurdish fighting spirit,” KRSC said quoting the British envoy.
At another point of the meeting, both sides conferred on regional developments and the possibility of joint operations to clear remaining IS pockets once Mosul is liberated.
The Peshmerga is one of the ground forces that have played a key role in fighting the IS after the group emerged in June 2014.
Former US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter labeled the Peshmerga as "one of the most efficient troops in the fight against the IS."
According to the Peshmerga Ministry, over 1,500 Peshmerga soldiers so far have given their lives fighting IS, and about 10,000 more have been injured.
Editing by G. H. Renaud