10:25 GMT +312 December 2019
Listen Live
    Kurdish Peshmerga fighters take part in a graduation ceremony on April 16, 2015 at the Kurdistan Training Coordination Center (KTTC) of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq.

    Two Kurdish Peshmerga Brigades to Be Armed and Trained by US in January

    © AFP 2019 / Safin Hamed
    Military & Intelligence
    Get short URL
    11912
    Subscribe

    Iraqi Kurdistan military officials have announced that two brigades of Kurdish armed forces, known as Pesmerga, will undergo reorganization and armament by the US in mid-January.

    On the eve of recapturing Mosul from Daesh, the US military will fully arm and train two brigades of Kurdish fighters, Peshmerga Forces’ Chief of Staff Jamal Emniki revealed, according to the Iraqi Kurdistan media outlet BasNews.

    The reorganization of the two existing brigades is scheduled to start in mid-January, Emniki stated. The United States will provide all necessary equipment, armament and ammunition, as promised by US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter during his visit to the Iraqi Kurdistan Autonomous Region in December 2015.

    ​In addition, the US will train two brigades, BasNews reported on Saturday. A number of US allies, including Germany, Italy, UK, are contributing to the training and arming of the Kurds. The ultimate goal is to have a reliable ground force to battle Daesh, aided by aerial support from the international coalition.

    ​Peshmerga emerged as a loosely-organized Kurdish volunteer militia and is now reforming to become a well-trained and sufficiently-equipped military force. Three brigades were selected for reorganization, Al-Monitor reported in July. The US will provide whole brigade sets for these units.

    “The sets will include individual soldier equipment, including helmets, body armor, first aid kits, rifles and machine guns. Also included are vehicles to move troops, supplies and equipment,” Joseph Pennington, US consul general to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital city, told Al-Monitor earlier.

    ​Additionally, the United States will provide the Kurds with heavy weaponry, a step long-awaited by Peshmerga, to fight Jihadists on multiple fronts.

    “The US has given its approval to deliver heavy equipment to us,” Jabar Yawar, spokesman of the Peshmerga Ministry told local TV Rudaw in December. “There are now long-range artillery and gunships in Kuwait waiting to be delivered to the Kurdistan region in [January]”. In another interview with Rudaw, Yawar also talked about “armored vehicles, Humvees and Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected [vehicles ] (MRAPs)”.

    Annual costs of the US military aid to Peshmerga are reportedly estimated to exceed some $200 million.

    “The goal obviously is not Kurdish independence, and we make that clear in the legislation,” Ed Royce, a US Republican Senator said to Washington Examiner in June, commenting on the approval of heavy weapon deliveries to Peshmerga by the US House Foreign Affairs Committee.

    Related:

    US Vows Support for Peshmerga Forces in Meeting With Iraqi Kurd Leader
    OPCW Visits Iraq to Investigate ISIL Chemical Weapons Use Against Peshmerga
    US Senate Introduces Legislation to Directly Provide Weapons to Peshmerga
    Kurdish, US Commandos Raid Daesh Base Behind Enemy Lines in Iraq – Media
    Canada's Defense Chief, Iraqi Kurdish Leader Discuss Anti-Daesh Campaign
    US to Arm 2 Kurdish Brigades to Help Retake Mosul
    Tags:
    reorganization, armament, military brigade, Kurds, weapons supplies, training, armed forces, reform, kurds, Operation Inherent Resolve, Daesh, Peshmerga, US Defense Department, Jamal Emniki, Ashton Carter, Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik