Senior Iraqi military commanders in the parliament have agreed to add 68 billion Iraqi dinars to the Defense Ministry’s budget to cover the salaries of Kurdish Peshmerga forces, who backed the US-led coalition and Iraqi security forces during the war against ISIS, a Kurdish lawmaker said on Sunday.
During a meeting by the parliament’s Security and Defense Committee on Sunday, “participants agreed to add IQD 68 billion to Iraqi Defense Ministry’s budget to be spent on the Peshmerga,” Nasr Harki, a Kurdish lawmaker and a member of the Committee, Kurdistan 24 reported.
The commanders, who were attending the meeting, “admitted that Daesh [ISIS] had not been eliminated in some areas yet,” Harki explained.
“There needs to be more cooperation between Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga, as well as an agreement to jointly secure and protect those areas and prevent the re-emergence,” of ISIS, Harki added. “Iraq has reached the point where the Peshmerga forces are a big part of Iraq’s defense system and that, without them, Da’esh cannot be eliminated in some areas.”
Peshmerga has been one of the most efficient ground force in the battle against the Islamic State since it emerged in the summer of 2014. Iraq declared victory over ISIS in December 2017, but its militants continue to carry out insurgent attacks in several provinces.
There has been ongoing disputes over the salaries of the Kurdish Peshmerga between Erbil and Baghdad over the past decades.