Turkey trains Iraqi Peshmerga

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Kurdish forces of the Peshmerga. File photo

ARA News

Istanbul, Turkey – Turkish military officers are currently training Iraqi Kurdistan’s forces of the Peshmerga, who fight against extremists of the Islamic State (IS/ISIL).

On Saturday, a Turkish official stated that the Turkish government made its decision to train some units from the Peshmerga in order to deter the danger of the IS militants in the region. 

Spokesman of the Peshmerga Brigader General Halkurd Hikmat told reporters that a number of Turkish military officers and soldiers have launched a special training in the Kurdistan Region to improve strategic capacities of the Kurdish Peshmerga. The ultimate goal of this training mission is to assist the Kurdish Persmerga to combat IS extremists in northern Iraq in an effective way.   

According to Hikmat, the Turkish-led training started nearly three weeks ago. 

The Turkish official pointed out that the training will soon include units from the Iraqi army. 

“Turkey has already started training Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq, and we have agreed to train and give assistance to the (Iraqi) National Guard,” the official said.

Speaking to ARA News, the Kurdish activist Jiwan Ibrahim reported that Turkey’s search for a strong Kurdish ally achieves a sort of balance with another Kurdish party that is opponent to Turkey.

“Turkey is ready to go more than training and arming the Peshmerga,” Ibarhim said, pointing out that they (Turkish authorities) do not do that for the Kurdistan region’s benefit, it’s rather a pragmatic policy that pushes Turkey to support the Peshmerga.

Over the past few years, Turkey’s relations with the Kurdistan region of Iraq witnessed a remarkable development, especially with the growing role played by the Region in the international war against the Islamic State group.

 

Reporting by: Lorin Silo 

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