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

Pentagon: Turkish Airstrikes Put US Forces at Risk

Airstrikes launched by Turkish warplanes on Tuesday that killed U.S. Kurdish allies in Iraq and Syria were described as “unsafe,” according to Air Force Col. John Dorrian, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve. Officials in Baghdad claim Turkey provided less than an hour notification to coalition forces before launching strikes against Kurdish positions in Sinjar, Iraq, and […]

State Department Approves $295.6 Million Package for Iraq to Equip Peshmerga Brigades

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Iraq for equipment for two Peshmerga infantry brigades and two support artillery battalions. The estimated cost is $295.6 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on April 18, 2017.

Iraqi Forces Make First Push Into Mosul

Advancing Iraqi troops broke through Islamic State defenses in an eastern suburb of Mosul on Monday, taking the battle for the insurgents’ stronghold into the city limits for the first time, a force commander said. The fighting came after two weeks of advances by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces who cleared surrounding areas of insurgents, in the […]

U.S. Troops, Embedded with Iraqi Brigades and Battalions, Push Toward Mosul’s City Center

One week into the battle for Mosul, U.S. troops are embedded with Iraqi battalion- and brigade-level units, pushing forward with mobile headquarters elements as the fight moves toward the dense city center, according to U.S. officials familiar with the operation. The American and Iraqi troops face an increasingly complex fight as some Islamic State fighters […]

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 […]

Dawn of the Jihadi Drone Wars

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported February 23 that it had downed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over the Mediterranean after it was launched from the Gaza Strip. According to IDF sources, an Israeli F-16 shot down the UAV, which it said belonged to Hamas, before it was able to cross into the country’s airspace. […]

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 […]