President Nechirvan Barzani met with the Commander General of the Peshmerga forces and other ministers and Peshmerga commanders at the Kurdistan Region's presidential office in Erbil.
During the meeting, President Barzani assigned the Minister of Peshmerga and other stakeholders to form a special committee to review and take the necessary steps to reorganize the legal, administrative, and ministerial structure of the department and Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
Along with the deputy president and ministers, President Barzani discussed the latest developments with regards to reforms, notably how to bring the two main Peshmerga units under one single command as a unified force.
The US, UK, and Germany, which are leading members of the coalition formally known as Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), in coordination with the Ministry of Peshmerga, have been supporting a reform project that consists of 35 points.
A key objective of the reforms is to move beyond the current division within the Peshmerga forces between the two major Kurdish parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and institutionalize a unified command structure.
The officials also discussed the obstacles and difficulties the reform process is facing, along with solutions and suggestions to help successfully speed it up.
The meeting concluded with the Minister of Peshmerga and Barzani extending their appreciation for the International Coalition against the Islamic State, especially the US, the UK, and Germany, who are carefully following the process, for their support.
The group also agreed to hold regular meetings to maintain relevant parties apprised of the progress made.
There are about 240,000 Peshmerga fighters in the Kurdistan Region.
Although some have been unified under the umbrella of the Peshmerga Ministry, the majority remain divided, taking orders mainly from the political parties to which they belong.
About 2,000 Peshmerga were killed fighting the so-called Islamic State, and 12,000 were wounded, according to the Peshmerga Ministry.
Since 2014, CJTF-OIR has trained thousands of Peshmerga fighters, and that training continues.
Editing by Nadia Riva