Peshmerga complete coalition's 30-day training
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – In Erbil, 1,100 Kurdish soldiers completed a 30-day training course and the same number of soldiers are in training now, said the international coalition spokesperson Colonel Steve Warren on Monday.
In a press conference held in Baghdad, Warren confirmed that the coalition military advisers have trained over 1,000 soldiers in Erbil and continues to train more Peshmerga units.
Warren noted that the trained Peshmerga are ready to participate in the Mosul offensive in northern Iraq to push back the Islamic State (IS).
“I wouldn’t say they were being trained specifically for Mosul, but these are the ones that are being earmarked for Mosul. But obviously, you know, battlefield conditions and local commanders can move things around,” he said.
The Colonel mentioned that the number of IS members has decreased, and there are 20,000 to 25,000 jihadists in both Syria and Iraq.
“A majority of them are concentrated around Mosul, in the Tal Afar area, in Nineveh province. And then there are probably up to several hundred, if not just under 1,000, that remain kind of in Anbar,” Warren added.
The coalition forces also train Iraqi army troops in the southern parts of Iraq to combat IS.
On Sunday evening, the Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the Fallujah offensive in western Baghdad. By Monday afternoon, the Iraqi security forces took control of many areas in the northeast of Fallujah, including the town of Sejar and Karma.
Reporting by Mewan Dolamari
Editing by Ava Homa and Karzan Sulaivany