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Current Peshmerga forces affiliated with political parties: leader

Secretary of the Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party Mohammed Haji Mahmoud (file photo)
2019-11-14

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SULAIMANI — The current Peshmerga forces are associated with the political parties in the Kurdistan Region, said a political leader on Thursday (November 14), indicating that uniting Peshmerga forces “is not easy”.

Secretary of the Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party Mohammed Haji Mahmoud said during his participation in the Sulaimani International Book Fair that a program was needed to unite the Peshmerga forces which he claimed have links to the region’s political parties.

The Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party is also an armed political party and has at least 3,000 armed men among the members of the Peshmerga forces.

“That force that exists now has links to the political parties,” Mahmoud said.

The Peshmerga forces will be united when people become members of the Peshmerga forces without support from the parties, he added.

Reforming and depoliticizing the Peshmerga has been a long-discussed, but little-realized, goal of the Kurdistan Region's authorities.

Kurdistan Region’s President Nechirvan Barzani said on Tuesday that the region needed a truly national army.

“It is time we courageously solve our military problems, learn from past experience, and create a force that only has one leadership,” Barzani said.

The US, the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany have been assisting the reform efforts, including by helping to develop a roadmap for reorganization.

(NRT Digital Media)