ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Senior Peshmerga commanders on Sunday extended their support to the new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) led by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and said they look forward to the reform of the autonomous Kurdish region’s security apparatus.
During his inauguration speech on July 10, Prime Minister Barzani underlined the importance of reform in all sectors of the Kurdistan Region, including security and economy.
Jaafar Sheikh Mustafa, a commander of the Peshmerga’s 70th Brigade, highlighted the sacrifices the Kurdish forces have made throughout history, which has paved the way for the Kurdistan Region to prosper.
“Peshmerga forces have sacrificed a great deal to get to where we are now, to the point where we gained a strong government,” Mustafa told Kurdistan 24.
“We will honor those who sacrificed their life by supporting the new [KRG] cabinet, especially in terms of positive reform.”
General Sirwan Barzani, a Peshmerga Commander at the Gwer-Makhmour front line, said the Kurdish troops believe in the government and are “expecting a great deal from the new KRG cabinet.”
“Reform is a necessity, and essential in all countries across the world, even the developed ones,” General Barzani told Kurdistan 24.
“Hence, we support the new cabinet in its positive implementation of reform in all the different sectors of the government,” he added.
According to the Iraqi Constitution, the Peshmerga are part of Iraq’s national defense apparatus, but the central government in Baghdad has often neglected and marginalized them.
However, recent steps by the new KRG cabinet indicates the two sides – Erbil and Baghdad – are attempting to enhance cooperation regarding the security of the country as a whole.
Peshmerga forces were the first line of defense against the so-called Islamic State when it emerged in northern Iraq in 2014. Over 1,700 Peshmerga were martyred, and more than 10,000 injured in the fight against the terror group.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Additional reporting by Blessa Shaweys)