U.S. payments for Iraqi Kurdish forces expected to start in July
Posted on June 25, 2016
by Editorial Staff in Economy, Military

HEWLÊR-Erbil, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— The United States will begin paying a stipend for Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces fighting in the battle against the Islamic State (IS) in northern Iraq as early as July, a Peshmerga ministry official said Thursday.

Peshmerga Ministry Deputy Chief of Staff Qaraman Kamal told NRT that stipends will be paid for up to nine months starting next month.

According to Kurdish authorities, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will provide Washington with a list of as many as 56,000 names of Kurdish forces on active-duty against IS militants.

“They [U.S. government] know how much the Peshmerga receive according to the list we have given to them,” Kamal said.

The funding is part of the $415 million assistance package for Peshmerga forces that U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced in April.

Carter’s announcement came after a KRG delegation led by the region’s deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani visited Washington on April 10 to appeal for more support for Peshmerga forces.

Coordinator of the Kurdistan Parliament’s Committee on Peshmerga and Martyrs’ Affairs, Bahar Abdulrahman, told NRT that officials in Erbil are unsure how the money will be transferred to the KRG, as military assistance to the region is transferred through the Iraqi government.

“As U.S. officials still see the Kurdistan Region under the Iraqi central government, it isn’t clear whether the financial aid will be through the KRG or central government,” Abdulrahman said.

Top officials in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have long been accused of corruption or taking government money.

In 2014 Iraqi authorities found 50,000 “ghost soldiers” on the army’s books.

According to Kurdish sources a large number of “ghost” peshmerga who either do not exist or do not turn up for duty. Their salaries are still paid; however, a portion of that goes to the commanders. http://ekurd.net/us-payments-kurdish-forces-2016-06-25?