ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – An official from the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Peshmerga on Saturday revealed the US would continue its support for Peshmerga forces this year.
During a press conference in Sulaimani, the Secretary General of the Peshmerga Ministry Jabar Yawar said the US would arm two Peshmerga brigades in 2017 and Canada would arm another unit.
“The coalition’s military assistance to the Peshmerga forces regarding training and arming will continue in 2017 as planned,” Yawar said.
“British, Canadian, and German military advisors are currently in the Kurdistan Region for training purposes,” he added.
“Peshmerga forces continuously receive weapons and military equipment from the coalition countries,” Yawar told reporters.
Moreover, Yawar stated out of the $415 million USD financial assistance to the Region, the salaries of 36,000 Peshmerga fighters had been distributed five times.
In July 2016, the Kurdistan Region and the US signed a memorandum of understanding to provide military and financial support for the Kurdish forces.
In an interview with the Washington Post on Jan. 19, the Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani acknowledged Kurdistan would welcome the US’ military presence in the Region, stating it would prevent terrorism from growing in the area.
Over 18,000 Peshmerga soldiers have been trained by the US-led coalition forces, half of them by Italian military advisers, according to Italian Brigadier General Francesco Maria Ceravolo, who is the Deputy Commanding General of the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq.
Peshmerga has often been labeled one of the most effective ground forces defeating the so-called Islamic State in northern Iraq.