Kurdish Peshmerga fighters to be treated in Belgium

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Kurdish Peshmerga forces at the battlefront in northern Iraq. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Brussels – The Minister-President of Flanders in Belgium will support the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters injured in the war on ISIS with €100,000 to treat them in universities in Flanders, local media reported.

The Minister-President Geert Bourgeois visited the Peshmerga frontlines in Iraqi Kurdistan a few months ago, and he was very impressed with the Kurdish Peshmerga forces that fight against ISIS.

Dr. Ali Sindi, the KRG Minister of Planning during the visit asked the government of Flanders to help with the treatment of injured Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

The cabinet of Flanders on Thursday evening decided to ‘respond positively to this urgent call for help, the Belgian news website Nieuwsblad reported.

“The Peshmergas are fighting a difficult battle against ISIS at this moment, a battle which is also crucial for our security. With this support, Flanders will give a concrete contribution,” the Minister-President said.

The Kurds on the frontline will select the injured Peshmergas that will be transported to Flanders in Belgium, according to Benjamin Muylaert, a spokesperson of the Bourgeois cabinet.

“It’s for surgeries that are not possible there [in Kurdistan],” he said. “The fighters will at maximum stay one month in Flanders for treatment before returning to the Kurdish city of Erbil.”

The decision needs to be worked out yet, but the cabinet of Flanders will invest 100,000 euro to support the injured Peshmerga fighters.

“We have sacrificed more than 11,500 martyrs and wounded heroes in this fight. ISIS is en route to lasting defeat,” the Kurdish president Masoud Barzani said last week on Thursday in Bashiqa.

Belgium is divided between a Dutch-speaking north that includes Flanders, and a French-speaking south. The Flemish Government represents the Flemish federal region in Belgium.

Several Flemish parties still advocate for more Flemish autonomy, or even independence, while French-speakers would like the current situation to continue. As a result, there is an apparent sympathy towards the Kurds among the Flemish people in Belgium.

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