Germany increases troops in Kurdistan to continue to train Peshmerga forces


Kurdish Peshmerga forces. File photo

ARA News

The German Parliament on Thursday voted to extend the trainings mission of Kurdish Peshmerga forces for another year and increased the number of German soldiers to 150.

The training includes the handling of chemical weapons, medical skills, logistics and weapons, the German government said.

The German government underlined that the training support is provided at the request of and in agreement with the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Moreover, Germany increased the number of its soldiers in Iraqi Kurdistan from 100 to 150 in order to continue the recent successes of training the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the fight against Islamic State’s (ISIS) extremists.

“Military successes such as the recapturing of the town of Sinjar, have shown that the Peshmergas are well equipped and well-trained fighters,” the German government said in a statement on Thursday.

The German army has trained Kurdish Peshmerga forces for at least two years as part of the Kurdistan Training Coordination Centre (KTCC)–established in the summer of 2015.

The German army will take over responsibility of the training in coordination with international partners.

Germany has so far trained over 4,800 Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers both in the Kurdistan Region and in Germany, which also included training for religious minorities such the Ezidis and Kakayis.

The German government said that the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga forces have succeeded with support of the international coalition to push ISIS on the defensive, and that the German government will continue to provide stabilization, assistance and development support.

In addition to training, the German army has provided more than 1,800 tons of weapons, ammunition and equipment to anti-ISIS forces in Iraq since 2014, worth more than 70 million euros.

“I welcome the extension of the support provided by Germany, but I hope that Germany will provide even more help for the KRG in the future. Medicines, field hospitals with staff and financial support for the IDPs and refugees are essential,” said Tobias Huch, a politician of the Liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) who regularly visits Kurdistan.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News 

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