Wearing the combat gear and berets of brave Kurdish fighters battling ISIS, crowds of cheering Iraqi students pay especially poignant tribute on National Peshmerga Day

Students in Kirkuk, which has come under relentless attack from jihadis over the past few months, wore the force’s distinctive uniforms as they took part in a parade near the local university (background)

Hundreds of Iraqi students have taken to the country’s streets to celebrate National Peshmerga Day – paying tribute to the brave Kurdish fighters leading the country’s anti-ISIS resistance.

Young men and women in the northern city of Kirkuk, which has come under relentless attack from jihadis over the past few months, wore the force’s distinctive red berets and combat clothing as they took part in a parade near the local university.

The annual event has taken on new poignancy this year following the rise of ISIS, but it originally started as a way for Iraqi Kurds to mark the moment in December 1945 when peshmerga forces took control of the final remaining military barracks in the Kurd-dominated Iranian city of Mahabad.

The word peshmerga is a widely used term to refer to Kurdish armed forces, but it is also the formal name of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s armed forces in semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan…

Related: US Congress removes Iraqi Kurdish parties from terrorist list

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  • DavidinNorthBurnaby

    Will my great-grandchildren have to fight Muslims in the streets here someday? If we keep importing them like we are its only a matter of time.