Germany Suspends Training for Iraqi Kurdish Troops

DM: Germany Wants to Ensure 'Unity of Iraq'

Germany has announced that they are suspending all training operations for the Kurdish Peshmerga in northern Iraq, saying they didn’t want to send “the wrong message” amid growing tensions with Iraq’s central government.

Over the past 72 hours, Iraqi forces have been launching offensives against Kurdish-held territory, and while fighting has been limited, Kurdish officials have said they view it as a declaration of war.

German DM Ursula von der Leyen says Germany wants to ensure the “unity of Iraq,” and that’s why they’re suspending all training of the Peshmerga. Kurdistan voted last month to secede from Iraq, with over 92% voting in favor.

During the ISIS war, several nations started training and arming deals in Iraq, some with the Kurds and some with the central government. The US has also threatened to halt training for the Iraqi military if the fighting doesn’t stop.

Though officially, most nations are opposed to Kurdish independence, in practice the training halt is more about not wanting to be blamed if this escalates into a total civil war in Iraq. This is particularly concerning for nations that have provided arms to these factions.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.