Today, our camera lens focuses on an Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighter circa 2003.  He happens to be a member of the KDP, the Kurdish Democratic Party

Who Are the Peshmerga?

They are the military forces of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. The name “Peshmerga” translates to “those who face death” or “those who stand in front of death.” This force has a rich history and has been integral in the broader Middle Eastern military landscape. Here are some key points about the Peshmerga:

Origins

The roots of the Peshmerga stretch back centuries, but the modern Peshmerga forces were formally established after the end of World War I and the establishment of the modern state of Iraq.

Two Major Factions

The Peshmerga forces are largely divided between the two main Kurdish political parties: the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Historically, these factions have had differences and have even clashed with one another.

Battles against Saddam Hussein

The Peshmerga were involved in resistance against the Ba’athist regime of Saddam Hussein, particularly during the Anfal campaign in the 1980s, where Saddam’s forces committed atrocities against the Kurdish people.

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