Defeating Islamic State: On the frontline with the Peshmerga

BNASLAWA, IRAQ – There’s little to no sound, but all of a sudden, a fluorescent-red smoke plume is rising. Peshmerga soldiers retreat through the dry, overgrown grass fields and link up with their forward line of troops.

The smoke signals that they captured their objective in this military training exercise. With the Peshmerga flag planted, their trainer yells out in Italian, “Perfecto!” At the Bnasalwa training base south of Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, Peshmerga forces are completing training courses through the Kurdistan Training Coordination Center (KTCC), an 18-month old program that operates under the US-led coalition of countries aiding in the fight against Islamic State in Iraq.


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