The Peshmerga are the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kurdistan. Peshmerga means "one who confronts death" or "one who faces death". The Peshmerga have had a large role in wars since the First World War, especially now against "ISIL", or Da'esh.
Iraqi and Syrian Civil Wars
With the rise of ISIL in Iraq and Syria, Peshmerga forces started to form one of the most successful oppositions.
The cause of Kurdistan came to greater public attention when the Peshmerga armed with Russian equipment such as 100 T- 72 and 80 2A65- Msta- B on the 8th March 2016 launched a major assault and retook Tal Afar from ISIS and then marched right into the outer defences of Mosul and managed to encircle the city and are currently - while besieging the city - encountering heavy attacks from ISIS counterattacks although retaining a grip on the city. By April Mosul was liberated and ISIL was pushed to the border of Iraqi Kurdistan.
At the moment the size of the Peshmerga is unknown, but with the creation of the unified state and centralised governance, the government will soon release full figures, though current estimates suggest it could range from 8000 to 250,000. These forces are organised into 36 brigades, which operate mainly autonomously with no coordination, though the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs has been starting to exert more control. This has been viewed positively, as the Peshmerga in the past has been accused of corruption, partisanship, nepotism and fraud, including some brigades only fighting for specific areas of political leaders rather than Kurdistan. Along with other reforms, reformations of the Peshmerga will start in 2017 and be completed by 2020.