The interminable fighting against ISIS on an ever-expanding front line is already a tough position for the Kurdish Peshmerga forces to be in. The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) paramilitary forces are facing a much bigger problem lately, however, lack of pay.
The KRG’s budget was built almost entirely around revenue from oil exports, and as the price of oil drops precipitously, their economy is crumbling, and one of the biggest things the KRG was able to cut was Peshmerga salaries.
Several reported being unpaid for four months, and being put on “half wages” after that. Many are rotating in and out of “active” duty over lack of pay, being forced to take a second job to make ends meet, a struggle when they get shifted around in the war.
KRG Deputy PM Qubad Talabani warned that morale is crumbling in the Peshmergha, and many are deserting. Though the exact number of desertions aren’t being made public, Talabani warned it’s sizable, and getting worse. With the Peshmerga being asked to lead the fight against ISIS across northern Iraq, those thinning ranks could quickly cost them some territory.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Turkish Army: 29 PKK killed in Strikes on Northern Iraq - December 11th, 2017
- Putin Declares Victory on Surprise Syria Visit, Announces Partial Pullout - December 11th, 2017
- Pentagon Officials See at Least Two More Years of Somalia Combat - December 10th, 2017
- Worldwide Protests Continue Over Trump's Jerusalem Declaration - December 10th, 2017
- Jerusalem Protests Continue Across Palestine - December 10th, 2017