November 10, 2018 / 09:33 PM
Nonpartisan brigades won’t be abolished, Peshmerga official says

Secretary General of the Ministry of Peshmerga Lieutenant General Jabar Yawar denied allegations Saturday, November 10, that the non-partisan brigades that the ministry oversees would be abolished.

While most Peshmerga units have an affiliation either with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) or the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the ministry controls a number of ostensibly non-partisan units.

Yawar told NRT that the rumors that those units would be abolished as a part of a raft of proposed reforms are "far from reality."

 “Changes are underway in the framework of the Peshmerga Ministry, but none of the [non-partisan] brigades will be abolished,” Yawar said.

The Peshmerga Ministry’s reform project began in February, when it announced a 35-point plan that had been developed in consultation with military advisers from the US, UK, and Germany. One of the most important points was that the Peshmerga would become a totally unified, non-partisan force.

Several reforms have been acted upon so far, but there is no timetable for the entire package to be implemented.

At the end of July, the acting Peshmerga Minister announced that reforms to the organizational structure of the ministry would take place once the new government is formed.

He also said that the first step is to integrate the 70 and 80 Brigades, which are controlled by the PUK and the KDP.

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