ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A batch of 201 Kurdish Peshmerga women graduated from the Zakho military academy on Wednesday, at a ceremony where Kurdish President Masoud Barzani said the world was proud of the Kurdish fighting force.
“The world is proud of the Peshmerga, since the Kurdish boys and girls are bravely fighting ISIS,” Barzani said at the ceremony.
The Zakho military academy was established in 1996 under a request by Barzani. The academy has graduated 6,500 cadets so far.
Meanwhile, Col. Masoud Salih, an instructor at the academy, told Rudaw “today is a historical day because for the first time a group of women are graduating from a military academy in Kurdistan and Iraq,”
He said that 201 women received training on various weapons and in tactical war skills.
Salih said this is a good opportunity for Kurdish women to gain greater success.
“The women received the same military courses as men and there was no difference in the training and types of weapons used,” Salih added.
Many women currently serve with the Peshmerga, guarding checkpoints, the Mosul dam and other areas around the front lines.