Middle East

Sep 4, 2014

Crikey Clarifier: just what is the peshmerga, anyway?

There are a lot of distinct groups fighting off Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Kurdistan. But what is the YPG? The PKK? And PJAK? Crikey intern Andrei Ghoukassian explains.

Crikey Intern — The next generation of <em>Crikey</em> journalists.

Crikey Intern

The next generation of Crikey journalists.

As the militant Islamic State (also known as ISIS) dominate the headlines, and Australia contemplates humanitarian and military assistance to Iraq, attention has turned to the various groups and factions actively fighting IS in Iraq and Syria.

The IS threat has united the interests of various groups, so we’ve attempted to decode the complex web of actors attempting to keep IS from spreading its self-declared caliphate further into Iraq and Syria.

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7 thoughts on “Crikey Clarifier: just what is the peshmerga, anyway?

  1. Elbow Patches

    I know this is inappropriate, but had a sudden vision of Kim from Kath and Kim trying on a shawl and saying, gee I like this peshmerga…

  2. telstra avenger

    I don’t think that Australia is providing armaments & weapons, but merely transporting what is provided by other nations. Am I correct?

  3. Brian Williams

    Yes, Telstra avenger, that’s correct.

    This is a great explanation of the alphabet soup of various groups fighting there, but I also had an inappropriate thought as to how much it all sounded like the descriptions of the Peoples Front of Judea vs the Judean Peoples Front in the Life of Brian, where no-one was quite sure which group they currently belonged to.

  4. mikeb

    Brian Williams – Just what I was thinking! What have the Sunni’s ever done for us?

  5. klewso

    Reminds me a bit of the good old days back in the ’80s when Russia “intervened” in Afghanistan and how the posse of the West rushed in to help the likes of little Bin Laden and his li’l al-Qaeda out – training and arming them as they did – because they were “Fighting Russians”?
    “Ukraine” take what you like from that…?

  6. philro

    Thanks for trying to sort out the confusion.

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