In a campaign far from over, help Peshmerga Commandos keep up the fight against the Islamic State
Following the loss of its territories, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has—predictably—reconstituted itself as an insurgency group intent on destabilizing the governments of Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan through coordinated terrorist attacks meant to inspire fear and delegitimize the government. Earlier this year, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that ISIS “is in a phase of transition, adaptation and consolidation. It is organizing cells at the provincial level, replicating the key leadership functions.” According to reports, the militants are particularly active in rural regions dominated by rugged terrain that affords them the ability to move and plan attacks. Such areas include parts of Anbar and Nineveh provinces and the mountains that straddle Kirkuk, Salah al-Din and Diyala provinces. Secretary-General Guterres said that ISIS fighters “appear to be planning activities that undermine government authority, create an atmosphere of lawlessness, sabotage societal reconciliation and increase the cost of reconstruction and counter-terrorism.” According to a CNN report, “these activities include kidnappings for ransom, targeted assassinations of local leaders, and attacks against state utilities and services.”
US Special Operations teams deployed in Sulaymaniyah region have partnered with elite Peshmerga Commandos, advising and assisting them in the fight against the Islamic State. The two forces are working closely to deny the terror group the ability to carry out attacks against civilian property, governmental officials, and military targets. A recent ISIS tactic has been to set fire to agricultural land; and by doing so, denying local landowners their livelihood while undermining the state. The US teams are helping train their Peshmerga counterparts on methods and tactics to prevent and repel such attacks.
Earlier this year, a US Special Operations Team Leader reached out to our team to identify urgent needs for his Peshmerga Commando partner force. The unit was set to carry out anti-ISIS operations; however, they required crucial supplies, in particular, binoculars, compasses, and maps to aid them during long-distance patrols to protect agricultural lands and deny ISIS the opportunity to destroy crops. Likewise, rain jackets, rucksacks, and multitools are necessary while in the field. And finally, Individual First Aid Kits, along with the training provided by US Special Operations teams, enhance the Commando’s survivability during combat.
Now, we need your help to fund this project and help keep the elite Peshmerga Commando as sharp as possible in the campaign against the Islamic State. Contributions, small or large, make a real difference in the battlefield, and in some cases, could very well save the lives of Peshmerga fighters.