Kurdistan Regional Government


The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is the official ruling body of the semiautonomous Kurdish region in Northern Iraq. The KRG originated during the Kurdish independence movement in the 1920s. KRG armed forces are known as the Peshmerga, meaning “those who face death.” Under the KRG, the Peshmerga is comprised of fighters from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), who during the 1990s clashed in a bloody civil war. The Peshmerga engaged in several conflicts with the government of Iraq dating back to the early 60’s. More recently, the Peshmerga assisted the United States troops during the 2003 invasion of Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime. With American assistance, the KRG has managed to keep Iraqi Kurdistan relatively peaceful in post-Saddam Iraq. However, tensions have simmered between the KRG and the central Iraqi government, particularly as the Kurds have mulled secession. Since 2014, the KRG has played a significant role in the regional battle against the Islamic State. The U.S. Military has reportedly flown sorties from the KRG’s international airport at Irbil. The U.S. and other Western countries also pledged support to the KRG as the Peshmerga fought on the front lines against the Islamic State.

  • Population
  • GDP
    $23.6 Billion

Battle for Mosul Appears to Be Entering Final Stage

A sniper lurks among desolated buildings of an abandoned village just over the hillside where Kurdish soldiers are dug in behind a berm, but Serbest Tivanisi, the Kurdish sector commander, doesn’t flinch as he peers over the sandbags. Beyond the village, on the horizon roughly 15 miles to the south, is the dark smudge of […]


US Advisers Training Iraqi Troops, Peshmerga on Front Lines Against Islamic State

U.S. and coalition military trainers in northern Iraq are running mission rehearsal exercises close to the front lines for peshmerga immediately before they go into combat against the Islamic State. British Army Maj. Ben Salt, one of those overseeing the effort to train and equip the Kurds, said Tuesday that, “mission specific training” is going […]


Turkish Security Forces Kill 18 ISIS Attackers in Iraq

Turkish forces have killed 18 members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after jihadists tried to sneak into a training camp in the Bashiqa region of northern Iraq late on Jan. 7, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed on Jan. 8. “I have been told that some 18 Daesh terrorists who […]


Covering the Bases: Reassessing U.S. Military Deployments in Turkey After the July 2016 Coup d’État

Download the full report here (PDF). The Republic of Turkey has been a reliable staging point for U.S. forces for more than six decades. Turkish bases have historically provided the U.S. military easy access to multiple theaters without having to build new infrastructure or forge new agreements. Today, American forces in Turkey are targeting the […]


B-1s Continue to Prove Worth Over Iraq

As the air war over northern Iraq expanded over the last week, Pentagon officials for first time acknowledged that land-based bombers have begun conducting strikes against the Islamic State, or ISIS, as it is formerly known. Though the specific bomber type was not named, B-1B Lancers are widely believed to be the bombers providing much […]