US defense official calls for return of Peshmerga minister to his position: Source

Ismail has suspended his work as the minister for months reportedly to pressures and interferences in the affairs of the ministry by his party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
Shorish Ismail speaking during a Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs event in Erbil, June 2022. (Photo: Shorish Ismail/Facebook)
Shorish Ismail speaking during a Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs event in Erbil, June 2022. (Photo: Shorish Ismail/Facebook)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A senior US defense official has called for the return of Shorish Ismail to his position as the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Minister of Peshmerga Affairs following months of a boycott by the official in protest of interference in the affairs of the ministry by his party, an informed source revealed to Kurdistan 24 on Wednesday.

The US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East Dana Stroul called for the return of Shoresh Ismail to the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs during her visit to the Kurdistan Region in late June, the source told Kurdistan 24.

Ismail has suspended his work as the minister for months reportedly to pressures and interferences in the affairs of the ministry by his party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

“In order to return, Mr Ismail has laid out a number of conditions to the PUK leadership and the party’s ministerial team, which had accepted the terms,” the source said, adding the return is pending final approval from Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani – a PUK member.

Numerous PUK members have criticized the party for interfering in the affairs of the ministry after Mr Ismail had refused to continue in his role.

As the minister, Mr Ismail has supervised the Ministry’s comprehensive reform program, backed by the anti-ISIS coalition members, including the US, the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany.

The reforms aim to modernize the Kurdish forces under the leadership and command of the Ministry.