On December 17, 1945, the military forces of PDKI overtook the last Iranian military barrack in Mahabad and raised the Kurdish national flag. The Peshmerga Forces of Kurdistan was established on the same day.
The word “Peshmerga”, which in Kurdish means those who face death, has for centuries been the preferred name for brave warriors in Kurdistan. When the Kurdish government in 1946 deliberated on what name to choose for the military forces of the Republic of Kurdistan, it was decided to use the word Peshmerga. Since then, on December 17, the people in eastern (Iranian) Kurdistan, as well as the growing Kurdish diaspora in Europe and America, honor the sacrifices of the Peshmerga Forces of Kurdistan.
Peshmerga is a symbol of the resilience of a nation that has been deprived the right to statehood in its own homeland and forcefully incorporated into four states – Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. The Kurdish nation has been subject to forced assimilation, massacres and cultural and physical genocide by Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. Still, the Kurdish people have managed to survive and protect their dignity. This would not have been possible without the existence of Peshmerga.
Peshmerga is the protector of the human dignity of the Kurdish nation. Peshmerga is also a progressive military force fighting for liberty, gender equality and democracy. Peshmerga is the most important force fighting state terrorism and the terrorism of non-state actors.
The Peshmerga Forces have been fighting dictatorship in Iran and have struggled for the national rights of the Kurdish people, liberty and democracy since the 1940s. The Peshmerga Forces have been bravely fighting the forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran since 1979.
Since having returned to eastern Kurdistan in 2015, PDKI’s Peshmerga Forces have pledged to make the necessary sacrifices in pursuit of the liberation of the Kurdish nation and in fighting the Islamic Republic of Iran. PDKI’s will, as always, continue the struggle for national rights, liberty, gender equality and democracy.