US pays $50.1 million in back salaries for Peshmerga forces: Coalition official

A team of advisers from the US-led Coalition to Defeat ISIS observe Kurdish Peshmerga in the field with their commander, Sirwan Barzani. (Photo: Twitter/Sirwan Barzani)
A team of advisers from the US-led Coalition to Defeat ISIS observe Kurdish Peshmerga in the field with their commander, Sirwan Barzani. (Photo: Twitter/Sirwan Barzani)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) - Col. David Williams, Director of the Kurdistan Coordination Center (KCC), told Kurdistan 24 on Thursday that $50.1 million in stipends was deposited to the accounts of the Ministry of Peshmerga that day.

“This was 3 months' worth of back pay for December, January, and February,” he explained.

The stipends are being paid through the Pentagon’s Counter-ISIS Train and Equip Fund (CTEF) program in Iraq, which also includes the autonomous Kurdistan Region. Through the fund, Peshmerga and Iraqi security forces have also received such essential supplies as ammunition, weapons, food, and fuel.

According to Williams, the Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Peshmerga will also receive 12 Brigades worth of “equipment sets” between now and December. In January, the ministry already received nearly 100 military vehicles through the US Department of Defense (DoD)-funded Counter-ISIS Train and Equip Fund (CTEF) program. 

Read More: Kurdistan Peshmerga forces receive 98 vehicles through US Counter-ISIS program

Williams' announcement of the deposit of Peshmerga salaries follows repeated US statements that the Biden administration remains committed to continuing the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, affirmed, most recently, by Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby on Monday.

Read More: Pentagon reaffirms US commitment to fighting ISIS in Iraq, Syria

“We remain committed to Coalition efforts against ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” Kirby affirmed in reply to a question from Kurdistan 24. 

“We still have troops in both places that are dedicated to that mission,” he continued. “We still have partners in the Coalition that are dedicated to that mission, and nothing has changed about it as of today.”

Editing by John J. Catherine