U.S. Consul General, Peshmerga Minister discuss reforms within Ministry

U.S. Consul General in Erbil Irvin Hicks Jr meets Peshmerga Minister Shoresh Ismail in Erbil, (September, 5, 2022) Photo: Ministry of Peshmerga

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — U.S. Consul General in Erbil Irvin Hicks Jr met Peshmerga Minister Shoresh Ismail on Monday in Erbil, marking the second visit of the consul days after taking office.

The Ministry of Peshmerga in a statement said that Minister Ismail received newly appointed U.S. Consul General Hicks Jr, and the consul reiterated the United States support for the reforms within the Peshmerga forces and uniting them.

We support reforms that improve the operational efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of the Peshmerga. We support increased integration of the Peshmerga with the Government of Iraq in our efforts to continue the defeat of ISIS,” the consul told the Peshmerga Minister, read a statement from the U.S. consulate General in Erbil, Facebook page.

The consul further said the U.S. importantly considering the reforms in the frame of the Peshmerga ministry, adding, “The organizing process of the Peshmerga forces is a difficult duty, and needs all side’s support,” said the statement.

The Kurdish Peshmerga forces since its early formation have been divided between the 70s units, affiliated with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and The 80s units, affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

When The Islamic State terror group derived out in Iraq in 2017 by the Kurdish forces and Iraqi military with the backup of the U.S.-led coalition forces, in February 2018, the Ministry of Peshmerga announced a 35-point plan to make the Peshmerga a more efficient, modern, and non-partisan fighting force, which was developed in consultation with advisors from the U.S., UK, and Germany.

The Peshmerga ministry’s reforms include the unification of its units that are not under the command of the official military institution as well as training for the forces.

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