Kurdish leadership urged to unify armed forces amidst threats of losing autonomy

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — In a dire warning, Jabar Yawar, former Secretary-General of the Ministry of Peshmerga, has called upon the Kurdish political factions to urgently unite the Region’s armed forces under a single, independent government structure. Speaking to Zoom News, Yawar emphasized that failure to achieve this unity may lead to severe consequences, including the loss of Kurdistan’s autonomy and a potential takeover of the armed forces by the Iraqi government.

Yawar expressed concern that without a unification agreement, coalition forces may withdraw their support from the Kurdistan Region, mirroring the situation in Afghanistan. He stressed that the time to act is now, as the year 2023 represents the final opportunity for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), and the Region’s armed forces to align and transform into government forces under an independent government and ministry.

The key proposition put forth by Yawar is the establishment of a fully independent Ministry of Peshmerga, free from political influence, ensuring that the appointment of the minister is also devoid of any affiliation with political parties. Similarly, he called for the Ministry of Interior to function as a separate entity, and all security institutions to maintain their independence from political entanglements.

Yawar stressed the gravity of the situation, stating that failure to act could result in the loss of the Region’s power and ultimately Kurdistan’s autonomy. He pointed out that the Iraqi authorities have already unified the budget and taken control of the Region’s oil and domestic revenues. Now, they may seek control of border crossings and even demand the dissolution of the Kurdish armed forces, potentially bringing all armed forces under the command of the general commander of the Iraqi armed forces.

The former Secretary-General urged Kurdish leadership to put aside internal conflicts and work towards unity, as this critical juncture demands immediate action to safeguard the hard-earned freedom and achievements of the Kurdish people. Failing to act could lead to dire consequences, including a potential loss of the Region’s autonomy and the handover of its armed forces to the Iraqi government.

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