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The Kurdish Peshmarga Forces: Frontline in the fight against ISIS

Aug 20, 2014 11:16 IST

The Kurdish Peshmarga Forces were in news recently as they formed the frontline against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They are defending a 600-mile border in Northern Iraq against ISIS and took back the parts of Mosul Dam in Northern Iraq that were seized by ISIS. The forces were aided by United States and Iraqi planes.

The Peshmarga
• The Peshmarga are the people who confront death.
• They are the Kurdish fighters who protect Northern Iraq under Kurdistan Regional Government.
• Peshmarga forces were first organized as national fighting force after the fall of the Ottoman Empire post First World War.
• During Iran-Iraq war in 1980s, these forces emerged out as effective guerrilla fighting force.
• Since 1990s, Peshmarga fought against Iraqi forces for independence.
• Peshmarga were main forces that helped United States in capturing of Saddam Hussein after 1998.
• In July 2014, they took up defensive roles in battling against ISIS and rescued around 20000 Yazidis, a minority community of Iraq, from Mount Sinjar.

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