According to the legislation No (17) from the Kurdistan Region- Iraq Parties Legislation, which has been approved by Kurdistan Parliament in 1993, in Article (12) part (3) it is forbidden to do parties activities among the forces of Peshmergaand Securities, However, after the formation of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) they bring out the Mountain forms of Politics and Parties into the cities also. The parties of “BereyKurdistani” or Kurdistan Front especially Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), both continued with remaining their military forces under various titles although from the first Cabinet of Parliament until now the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs is there, but Peshmerga forces and Securities have been endured as a parties militia, and they have not been organized as a National Forces.
Militia is not Insolence
Although the name of Peshmerga has a holy and a special respect meaning among Kurdistan nation as well as in the world, nonetheless the terms of “Militia” is for those armed cases who are outside of constitution, law and the control of the state. If we look at the history background of Peshmerga Forces until the events of 16 of October 2017, the name of Militiaapplies upon them. Since, from the events of 16 of October because of the battles between Peshmerga forces with the Iraqi Military and HashidShaebi, apart from the Peshmerga forces havemoved back by parties decision without the consent of Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs and the General Commander of the Peshmerga forces the first and second bands of Peshmerga have dissolved until 24- 01-2018 after passing 100 days according to another Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs decision those two bands have been combined. Then, the terms of Militia is not a sarcasm and disrespect, but it is the definition of a Military facts in Kurdistan Region.
Peshmerga is a Part from the Defense System
After the collapse of Iraqi Regime and the approval of new constitution in 2005, which all the Iraqi’s among them Kurdish approved that constitution according to the Article (9) of it. The military and security forces participation in political activities is forbidden, as well as the creation of Militia and forces outside of rules. Accordingly, the employee of the Ministry of Defense, Interior and Security agencies are not allowed to Candidate themselves for the election. However, Kurd’s refuse to define Peshmerga as a Militia, then it remains inside the Iraqi Defense System, but the officials of Kurdistan Region stayed away from the nationalization of these forces.
From the unification of Sulaymaniyah and Erbil until the Eighth Cabinet of Kurdistan Regional Government, which defined as a broad-basedcoalitioncabinet, they promise to reunion Peshmerga forces and Securities. While, continually those forces are under the command of the presidency of parties even though during 12 years, 14 mutual bands between PDK and PUK forces recognized, but at the events on 16 of October 2017, and the attacks of Iraqi Military forces with Hashid AL-Shaebi, during less of 12 hours those 14 bands have been dissolved.
Currently, The committee of Peshmerga Affaires in Kurdistan Parliament does not have an accurate data about the numbers of Kurdistan’s Peshmerga, while the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs have 45,000 employees. The PUK 70 Units has more than 56,000 Peshmerga’s and the PDK 80 Units has more than 58,000 Peshmerga’s.
Instead of Peshmerga there are other forces in Kurdistan who are also regards as a forces of PDK and PUK, among them; Zeravani Forces and Amada Forces. There are 51,000 Zeravani Peshmerga in Kurdistan who are correlated to the Ministry of Interior, with nearly 10,000 Emergency and Defense Police who are also correlated to the Ministry of Interior.
The officials of PDK and PUK are confirming that the unification of Peshmerga forces under one system requires a political decision, PUK has 18 bands and PDK has more than that. Instead of PDK and PUK all parties of the BereyKurdistani, they had Military organs. Some of those parties involved with the other parties or they don’t have activities any more, and some of them dissolved their Military organs officially. Among them the Islamic parties (Movement Party and Kurdistan Islamic Group), now only Social Democrat of Kurdistan has forces and participated in ISIS battles and they are 3,000 memberships.
Baghdad has Anxiety about the huge number of Peshmerga
Baghdad officials and the Federal government are demandingthe correct number of Peshmerga forces continuously. At the last meeting on 4-01-2018, a joint delegation of Goran Movement, Islamic Group and Collation for Democracy and Justice for about one hour with Haider Al-abadi, the Iraqi Prime Minister. According to the speech of Hassan Jihad a delegation member Abadi asked about the correct number of Peshmerga and he was surprised as the Peshmerga number is close to the number of Iraqi military. Hassan Jihadstated to Runadw Journal that; “ Abadi said Peshmerga forces are under the controls of parties, when a political conflict comes to exist the Peshmerga forces goes back into parties control”.
At the same time, the security and defense committee of Iraqi government do not know how many Peshmergadoes Kurdistan have. While, Peshmergabudget is one of the topics of disputes between Erbil and Baghdad, that committee asked about the number and information many times, but the leaders of those two parties don’t have response for their request.
Change: The numbers of Peshmerga arefrom 30,000 to 35,000 persons.
Change movement in 2014, participated in The Kurdistan Regional Government, Mustafa SiaedQadir one of the commander of this party became the Minister of Peshmarge Affairs while, instead of the political party background among the General Commander of Peshmerga forces of PUK during his duty at the ministry he gained a lot of information and data according to a report of Goran Media Network Spokesperson of the former Minister of Peshmerga the accurate number of Peshmergaare from 30,000 to 35,000 persons. However, according to the employees of the Ministry they are 217,000 Peshmerga’s. Then, most of the corruption is among the members of 80 Units of PDK and 70 Units of PUK, Who are guards of the officials.
Unreal Private Guards “BnDiwar, means that they get monthly salary without doing any duty”
Ajans journal, which is correlated to the security agencies of PUK spread that in the biometry system of KRG, 1, 249,000 pensioner have been recorded, from that number 400,000 are from the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, 45,000 from them are working inside the ministry the others are divided between 70 Units of PUK, 80 Units of PDK, forces of Defense police, emergency, Zeravani, military retired and disables.
Beside of the Kurdistan Peshmerga Forces there are Private guards who are nearly 63,000 they get salary in different units at time they have to get it from the Ministry of Interior as a Guard Unit. Members of Parliament believe that most of the corruption and unreal Peshmerga’s are from this part.
On 4-01-2018, Nazim Kabir the vice chancellor of the interior and security committee in the Parliament who’s from PDK list reported for Kurdistan 24 Chanel “There is a guard who’s working as a Taxi driver now, and also under the name of officials guard we have people in fact he is a farmer. Thus, the process of revising and organizing according to rules and instructions for the officials and party headquarters guards must be done”.
Allied countries against ISIS are trying to unify Peshmerga
After happening ISIS battles in the middle of 2014, allied countries against ISIS have assisted Iraqi forces including Peshmerga forces of Kurdistan, either by giving them weapons or the military essentials, but each of the United States of America, Britain and Germany have given a project that include 35 sections for reorganizing and unifying Peshmerga forces in March 2017, a committee has formed for this purpose, the Ministry approved it, then they pass the project to Council of Ministers, Kurdistan Region Presidency and it has been approved by them also.
Generally, the sections include all organs of the Ministry of Peshmerge Affairs, from administrative acts, Peshmerga training, operations, employees and rules. It has been decided to executive 5 sections from this project this year, but according to the speech of military officials of both parties and Baghdad officials the process of nationalization and unifying of those forces is hard. Both parties are not ready to do so.
MulaBakhtyar, who’s in charge of the administration body of political bureau of PUK, in his interview with Rudaw TV stated that “ we do not accept from any body to take our weapons, we have weapons no body can take it from us, what we have from forces we put it in service for Democracy and National Security, but if one of the forces think that because they win then they could to take our weapons, do not think about it”.
The future Risks of Selling Weapons by Peshmerga
The military commanders of PDK and PUK have controlled Pehmerga forces, budget, the essentials of weapons and military materials. Many times those weapons which allied countries provided to Peshmergaas a help, they have been sold in black market and this cause a bad reflection for those countries that made their media to follow up and do report on it. Especially, those countries are afraid from those weapons to go back from black market into terrorist groups.
QubadTalabani, the Deputy Prime Minister, Jalal Talabani’s son, at the time of visiting the Kurdistan Region Integrity Commission at the end of 2017 Said,” When something happening to Kurdistan, they leave the front of war as well as the weapons and explosives, and what theytook them when they run, they sell themin black market, and they come on TV for talking about corruption”.
From the beginning of ISIS battle, as a result of a following up committee, which has formed depend on a Kurdistan Region President decision for Peshmerga Affairs and the contracts of the Ministry for buying weapons and Peshmerga essentials. It appeared for them that there is 100 cases with corruption and all of them have directed to courts for the purpose of investigation. Most of those cases which has corruption are from the contracts of buying weapons, military essentials, clothes and food, and the contracts expenditure is over 60 billion dollars.
Rudaw Weekly on his number 293 on 31-01-2014, in a long report has published many evidences on the corruptions of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs. According to a report from the Supreme Audit Corporation’s of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs no 74 on 1-07-2013, which has been directed to PehmergaGeneral Secretary of the Ministry of Pehmerga Affairs about the amount of money for bands which includes, (Forces money, foods, fuels) has been spent contrary to financial regulations. The report said, “a Huge part of money divided between Unit commanders and headquarter soldiers’’. It appeared for the corporation that,” many corruption, conversion, receipt and imaginary committees” is including the exchange of this money.
Accordingly, depend on a report from Peshmerga General Secretary no. (2/5073/R) on 11-06-2012, directed to the Minister of Peshmerga Affairs until that agreement most of the weapons of Peshmarge were “old and expired”, that report which has been prepared by the officers of national awareness, mentioned about many shortfalls of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, again according to the evidences they spent a billion dinars for recovering new and old vehicles.
In February 2017, Kurdistan Region Presidency published a private report about the steps of reform on Peshmergamatters in Military aspects in point number 4 talked about reforming and corruptions of that subject.
Reform in Peshmerga
According to resolution no (5) on 21-04-2016 the Kurdistan Region President formed a special committee for the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs and Military services. After the activities of the committee, the Kurdistan Region President as a commander of the Peshmerga forces of Kurdistan has decided some important resolution for example; two positions inside the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs and 70 units and 80 units has been forbidden. As well as depend on the President of Kurdistan Region decision they asked the ministry of Peshmerga Affairs that all committees, which has formed for buying weapons, essentials and foods at the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs must be dissolved. Moreover, both General Directorate of Contracts and Legal Department are bound to do contracts depend on rules and regulations of contracts, and giving chance to all companies to participate in bids. As well as they decided to form a committee for the purpose of investigation and canvass in the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs Credits and the necessity of the Ministry for that expenditure.
Reducing the numbers of Peshmerga
For unifying and organizing Peshmerga pensions sectors some decision have been decided, which requested from the Kurdistan Regional Government to dissolve all special Directorate of Peshmerga pensions and to collect all pension cases in one directorate, which is related to the General Directorate of Pensions at the Ministry of Finance and Economy. Then, forming a special committee for reforming and canvassing in all cases according to rules and regulations. Also Peshmerga services must be organized and none of the illegal pensioner must be equaled to Brave Peshmerga’s who served their life in the process of Kurdistan protection. These decisions are under the process of execution and they follow up essential conducts for the purpose of execution.
The Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs itself has done some important reforms, for instance; (1566) officers and Peshmerga’s have reduced from the headquarter of the Ministry. Also, many departments and directorates have been dissolved inside the ministry, by this action hundred million dollars has refunded to the government this is additionally to the reducing in vehicles and fuel recovering expenditure.
Consequently, there is a committee for revising Peshmerga’s disable’s list until now from the amount of (867) persons that have been seen by the specialist committee, (253) disables are excluded from the list of disables and they have to refund all that money that they obtained before illegally. This process is continuing and the entiredisable Peshmerga’s will be seen and inspected. As well as, they decided to revise the military pensions list to solve all legal overtakes. Regarding all those officers and employees who are getting salary from Region and Baghdad at the same time until now (90) officers has putted under procedures and (70) others are under canvassing and the process will be continued.
More than of (12) corruption cases particular to the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs passed to Integrity Commission, and the investigation for some of these cases are started as well as all legal procedures have been taken against those who they found guilty regardless of the military positions and ranks. Likewise, there are important reform plans in the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs they will be executed in near future.
Forces of Ministry of Peshmerga
Mutual 14 bands of PDK And PUK: 45,000 Peshmerga’s
Ezidxan Defense forces (Haider Shasho): 4, 000 armed persons
Jazira Bands (Arab’s of Rabiea and Zumar): 200 armed persons
Shangel Commander (QasimShasho): 10,000 armed persons
Forces associatedby PDK
80 Units in Ministry of Peshmerga: 58,000 Peshmerga’s
Zeravani, which is, related to Interior Ministry: 51, 000 armed persons
RozhLashkir forces of Zeravani: 8,000 armed persons
Counter Terrorism of Kurdistan Security Council and the number of PDK Security forces are not known.
Forces associated by PUK
70 Units of Peshmerga Ministry: 56,000 Peshmerga’s
Emergency Defense forces: 10,000 armed persons
Black forces of Interior Ministry
Counter Terrorism forces they are more than 2,000 persons
Swat forces their numbers are not known
PUK Security forces their numbers are not known
Reducing the number of Peshmerga forces, activating both military colleges of Zaxo and Kalachwalan inside of the Iraqi defense system, are providing a budget as the salary of that specific numbers of Peshmerga are inside the Iraqi sovereign budget. Furthermore, Retiring elderly commanders and those who have party’s position, providing equal chances for all citizens to contact Peshmerga forces according to rules. Dissolving 70 and 80 Units of PUK and PDK, executing rules of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, Zeravani rules and pensions.
• The journalist is Graduates from College of Law; he worked for many Journals and TV’s.