Shafaq News / Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani has announced the formation of the first and second brigades of the Peshmerga forces on Tuesday, while acknowledging the limited participation of other components within the ranks of the Peshmerga.
However, he called for the opening of volunteering opportunities for these components, despite their sons' engagement in the Peshmerga forces.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Barzani considered the establishment of the two brigades a significant step towards the unification and organization of the Peshmerga forces. He stated, "Today, with great pleasure, we announce the start of work for both brigades, with each consisting of four regiments and 1200 members."
He added, "Last year, during the military college graduation ceremony in Zakho, we had only one Christian student, and at the time, I called for the participation of all components." He went on to say, "Today, I learned that a number of Christian, Arab, and Yazidi Peshmerga soldiers are present in these two brigades, although their number is still small, and we must open the doors to all components to join the Peshmerga forces."
President Barzani emphasized the necessity of the Peshmerga forces remaining a force for all of Kurdistan's people, saying, "We will devote all our strength and energy to making the Peshmerga forces strong in all military capabilities, and they must be educated with a military and patriotic culture."
He confirmed that "one of the goals of the Kurdistan Region Presidency is to restructure, unify and reform the Peshmerga forces" and that "despite political differences, matters related to unifying the Peshmerga forces have not stopped, and we have made progress in many steps."
Barzani continued, "The Peshmerga forces do not want to have a political or party name," confirming that "the Peshmerga forces have worked since day one to establish security, peace, stability, and freedom for all components of Kurdistan."
He also thanked the United States for its support and aid to the Peshmerga forces, saying that "it is still ongoing, and the United States considers the Peshmerga forces a partner in the fight against ISIS."
Addressing America, President Barzani stated, "Terrorism still poses a real and complete threat to Iraq, and we continue to work with the international coalition to counter ISIS."
He stressed that "we must remove the party cover from the Peshmerga forces to reinforce their true identity and belief, and enhance their capability as it is crucial in Iraq, as we have proven in the war against ISIS." He confirmed that "the Peshmerga protected Kirkuk and large parts of Diyala and Salahuddin, and was a fundamental partner in the war against ISIS."
President Barzani continued, saying, "Sovereignty is a shared sovereignty in the country, and the Peshmerga forces can protect it as part of the Iraqi defense system, and the federal government should support these forces."