Peshmerga Kill at Least Two in Iraqi Kurdistan Protests

Dozens Also Wounded as Kurdish Forces Fire Live Ammo at Demonstrators

Most of the early public protests in Iraq centered around Baghdad or the poorest Shi’ite provinces in the southeast of the country, but the unrest sweeping the entire region did not stop there with respect to Iraq, as the northern Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah, along the Iranian border, was the site of the latest demonstrations.

Though Iraqi Kurdistan is normally thought of as a special case and a bastion of stability, there has been growing anger and no shortage of allegations that the ruling Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) is corrupt, and that led to protesters marching on the headquarters, with some reportedly throwing stones.

Which led to what is becoming the default reaction of regimes across the world, but which mysteriously no one noticed doesn’t work: shooting the protesters. The peshmerga, the forces loyal to the Kurdistan Regional Government, opened fire with live ammo against the protesters, killing at least two and wounding dozens of others.

So far the US-trained forces across Iraq have been amongst the quickest in the region to react to public demonstrations with live gunfire, though as the death toll rises, much as in the other US allied regimes in the region, officials seem to be uninterested in discussing the crackdowns beyond vague calls for stability.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of