Assumption of Command

10 June 2005

Peshmerga joining the Iraqi Army?

I just found this interesting article. It talks about the Peshmerga. The Peshmerga is the Kurdish defense force that protected the northern region of Iraq, known as Kurdistan, from Saddam. Now this highly successful force wants to be a part of something bigger and for the better good of all of Iraq by becoming a part of the new Iraqi Army.

Kurdish Peshmerga Forces Express Readiness to Join Iraqi National Army
Known for their fierce resistance to the Saddam Hussein government, leaders of the Kurdish region's peshmerga military say their forces are now ready to join the Iraqi National Army. But working alongside Iraqi Arabs, the Kurds former foes, may take some adjustment.
[...]
An ethnic minority, for years Iraqi Kurds were on the receiving end of some of the worst oppression by the Saddam Hussein regime. Fearing the Kurds were growing too powerful, Saddam launched what is known as the Anfal campaign against them in 1988 resulting in the deaths of more than 175,000 people.
That is not a misprint. 175,000 died at the hands of Saddam. (And the liberals say we are the bad guys)
Many soldiers and officers on the base say they have had little face-to-face contact with their new allies, the Arab forces that make up the bulk of the Iraqi National Army. Most, however, say that, if ordered, they would gladly fight alongside them against the insurgents in any part of Iraq. They seem to think that, if Iraqi Kurds and Arabs share new battlefield ties, it may, perhaps, ease the weight of history.
This is the new attitude here in Iraq. If everybody works together here, there are no limits to what the people here can do, only if they do it together. I truly hope this works out, as that would be nothing but great news.