25 August 2021 - 23:37
Qubad Talabani urges Peshmerga reform

Discussing the ongoing reform effort, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani said on Wednesday, August 25, that the Peshmerga is the national armed force of the Kurdistan Region and does not belong to any specific person or party.

The Peshmerga is notoriously divided between units controlled by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), along with more than a dozen brigades that ostensibly fall under the auspices of the KRG’s Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs.

Many senior politicians have units that fall under their personal control.

Talabani is a senior member of the PUK, which is embroiled in a power struggle pitting the deputy prime minister and his older brother, PUK Co-President Bafel Talabani, against the other co-president, Lahur Sheikh Jangi, who is their first cousin.

A critical point of contention is control of the PUK’s affiliated security forces, including the Peshmerga Forces 70 Command and the Counterterrorism Services (CTS). Until early July, Sheikh Jangi’s camp was in charge of the CTS.

Politicians in the Kurdistan Region frequently declare their support for Peshmerga reform, but control of the security forces provides the KDP and the PUK with valuable patronage networks so progress towards reorganization of the Peshmerga has been slow.

Control of those networks is particularly useful in affecting the outcomes of political tensions, like those going on within the PUK.

In his statement, Talabani said that Peshmerga reorganization is not an easy task, but that the government supports reform.

Reporter's code: 50101

News Code 1348


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